Newcastle College’s School of Hospitality and Tourism has been named a Centre of Excellence for Food and Beverage and Patisserie and Confectionary with Gold accreditation, confirming it as one of the best in the country.
Centre of Excellence status identifies state-of-the-art facilities and follows a £45,000 investment into the bakery in 2018, transforming the area into a fully functioning teaching and learning environment for patisserie students.
“People 1st is extremely pleased to announce Newcastle College as the first in the North East to receive our Gold accreditation,” said Andy Doyle of People 1st, the organisation behind the award.
“This award recognises that they have the right facilities and standards of teaching available which, coupled with very strong links with a diverse range of supportive local employers, provide students the best opportunity to grow and develop their skills for a career in the hospitality industry.”
Local employers, including 21 Group, Copthorne Hotel Newcastle and Pleased to Meet You, joined inspectors to endorse their relationship with the College and discuss the work experience opportunities on offer to hospitality and tourism students. Gaining the People 1st accreditation will now open up even more opportunities for students to benefit from industry experience, development and extra- curricular activities.
The College’s student-run fine dining bistro The Chefs’ Academy has also been awarded a Highly Commended AA College Rosette, a scheme which recognises quality food and exceptional service in College restaurants.
Delivered in partnership between the AA and People 1st, the prestigious Highly Commended title is the highest level of the award and is given to those colleges with restaurants of the best quality and with notable links to industry – those which could compete within a true restaurant environment.
It rounds off an exceptional year for the College’s hospitality department, with Curriculum Leader Phil Pringle being named North East Chef of the Year and students earning a clean sweep at the North East Culinary Trade Association (NECTA) competition, including Culinary Team of the Year and College of the Year.
Phil Pringle said: “It’s important to be recognised by People 1st for our teaching, facilities and industry links – all of which provide a fully rounded learning experience for our hospitality and tourism students.
“Newcastle College prides itself on delivering vocational education developed in partnership with industry and our hospitality and tourism courses are a fantastic example of this in practice.
“Being named a Centre of Excellence and achieving a Highly Commended College Rosette for the Chefs' Academy is a brilliant achievement for colleagues, students and industry partners who all contribute to our offer.”