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As part of their Catering course, our students get to go out into the local community and beyond, to meet with a range of business and hospitality venues. This is so that they can gain insight into the industry, and to be able to experience the many types of businesses that currently exist. Alongside their practical skills that they learn in lessons, this helps prepare them for their future career by knowing all about different areas they can go into. On Wednesday 14th September, they learnt all about a local success story, Matches in Ashford, who since opening in 2021 have built a solid reputation for themselves with a range of food and drink on offer alongside great entertainment packages and live sport.
We met Head Chef Nathan and General Manager Charlie who spoke about their background in the industry and what makes Matches stand out from the competition, as well as how important hard work is in education. Nathan got involved with Catering by doing a Level 2 course (just like our students), then progressed onto a Level 3 and got employed by a local business afterwards, and rose through the ranks pretty quickly due to his hard work. Charlie spoke to the students about how Hospitality is a great industry for our students, as it opens them up to so many opportunities and is an industry that is always changing to meet customer needs.
After this, students were given an in-depth tour into behind the scenes of Matches. Amongst the facilities, the professional kitchen allowed our students to see that the skills they learn in college can be transferred anywhere, and they met further members of the team who spoke to them about the work that they do on a daily basis, such as preparing menus and serving customers. There are a lot of skills needed to run a successful hospitality business such as customer service and food safety as examples, and students got to see these skills in action through both the talks and the tour.
This was a great chance for our Catering students to see an example of a hospitality success story that is effectively right on their doorstep (being a 5 minute walk from the college). We hope to work more with Matches in the future, and to further show our students where our courses can take them through a variety of trips and in college events.