A hotel in the heart of Chester has partnered with a local high school as part of a Cheshire wide effort to encourage early hospitality careers — inspiring the next generation of talent through hands-on experience.
The partnership between The Chester Grosvenor and Queen’s Park High School comes as part of a district wide initiative by the Chester Hospitality Association (CHA) and the Pledge Partnership, which sees schools across the city paired with an associated hotel.
As it looks to broaden the career prospects of its students, The Handbridge-based school is leading the way in the local area — providing outstanding careers education and personal development programmes for its students through a wide range of partnerships such as this one.
With Andrea Watts, Head of Careers at the helm, Queen’s Park High School was selected to pioneer the recent ‘Hotels and Schools Programme’ in partnership with The Chester Grosvenor — a move which looks to encourage stronger links between the worlds of hospitality and education.
The leadership team at the school has already met with Sarah Hercules, Learning and Development Manager at The Chester Grosvenor, to discuss the vision and desired outcomes of this new partnership. Some key areas of focus are to raise students’ aspirations through real-world experience and to provide personal development opportunities for all.
Over the next academic year, the programme of events will see students undertake work experience at the hotel, which will include catering masterclasses, careers workshops and fundamentally, the development of transferable skills taught by seasoned professionals with impressive hospitality careers.
Sarah Hercules commented: “We are absolutely delighted to be partnered with Queen’s Park High School and I’m very much looking forward to working with them over the coming year. Our fundamental aim is to help inspire and grow the next generation of hospitality talent in Chester and what better way to do this than starting right at grassroots level. At The Chester Grosvenor, our people are at the very heart of delivering a five star experience, so it is important they are nurtured and have opportunities to develop. In light of this, we offer a wide range of apprenticeships to enable our team to work towards a recognised qualification, as well as other professional development opportunities throughout their careers.”
The Chester Grosvenor is continually looking to recruit more apprentices, with an array of great opportunities available to prospective young talent. The hotel’s Executive Head Chef, Elliot Hill is a huge advocate for providing educational opportunities in hospitality and alongside his colleagues, is looking forward to offering local students an insight into the world of five-star hospitality.
Andrea Watts added: “The opportunities that this partnership will bring are limitless. We are passionate about ensuring all of our students have access to personal development opportunities, which will provide them with the knowledge, skills and experiences to be successful in the world outside of the classroom.”
Steven Hesketh, Executive Board Chair of CHA added: “This is collaboration at its best, and it’s great to see schools embracing hospitality and of course why not, when you have the crème de la creme of hotels, The Chester Grosvenor on offer alongside a dozen other high end hotels in the city. The Chester Hospitality Association is so proud to get this Hotel Schools Program launched.”