The Institute of Hospitality, the only international professional body for current and aspiring hospitality leaders and managers, has welcomed the UK Government’s support for the expansion of The Clink Kitchens programme announced last week by Prisons Minister Alex Chalk.
The Institute of Hospitality, through its Professional Development division, has given endorsement recognition to The Clink Charity’s training programmes for front of house and kitchen skills since February 2020.
Robert Richardson FIH, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality, said:
“The Institute of Hospitality applauds the Government’s pledge to expand The Clink Kitchens programme to more than three times its current number of sites by the end of the year. The Institute has supported The Clink Charity since its launch and commends their hospitality training programmes for the quality of their content and delivery and for the valuable contribution that this training provides to the graduates as they embark on the next stage of their lives.
“The expansion says a lot for the success of The Clink Charity’s training programmes that now more ex-offenders will have the opportunity to acquire the skills and qualifications in a real-life working environment. Moreover, the Institute of Hospitality strongly promotes inclusivity and diversity, and we look forward to continuing to welcome graduates of The Clink into our hospitality family.”
By the end of 2021, as many as twenty-five prisons will be working in partnership with The Clink Kitchens Integrated Training Programme which has been developed based on the learnings from The Clink Restaurants and The Clink Gardens training programmes. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Christopher Moore FIH, the scheme includes four restaurants, three gardens and one event catering business as well as Clink Kitchens, which all follow the City & Guilds National Vocational Qualifications curriculum.
Over the past eleven years, it has helped more than 2,500 ex-offenders to reintegrate into society, improving their life chances by equipping them with valuable front of house and kitchen skills and the corresponding qualifications. On account of the programme, the Justice Data Lab states that a Clink Graduate is 65.6% less likely to reoffend, having trained at The Clink while inside prison, and supported into accommodation and full-time employment upon release.
Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL FIH, a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality who is also the group chef ambassador of The Clink Charity added, “The Clink Charity has done a stunning job to secure the fulsome backing of Her Majesty’s Prison Service to the expansion of The Clink Kitchens programme across England and Wales. This is great news for the hospitality industry. By continuing to subject their training programmes to the Institute of Hospitality’s rigorous standards, The Clink is ensuring that students receive the quality preparation they need and deserve to be able to find suitable employment in an industry crying out for talent. This is a situation where everybody stands to gain.”