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Educational Programme With Stafford College Launched

8 May 2008

Students from Stafford College have become the first to take part in a new educational training programme launched by Stoke-on-Trent based tableware supplier Steelite International. The programme gave the students an interactive, informative introduction to the commercial tableware industry as part of their NVQ courses in hospitality.

The educational programme has been designed specifically by Steelite International to fit in with the students' NVQ courses in Food Preparation and Restaurant Service and Hospitality Supervision. The programme included a series of workshops regarding different aspects of the industry and Steelite International's business. Students were given an introduction to the tableware industry and its role in the hospitality sector, a design workshop where the students learnt about new product development to meet market requirements and designed a plate for their own restaurant, and a glassware and wine tasting session that highlighted the importance of suitable products to enhance taste and presentation.

All students completed a factory tour to see how tableware products are made from start to finish at Steelite International, and a visit to the laboratory to learn about the stringent testing procedures to ensure the strength, durability and hygiene of all Steelite International pieces.

The educational day finished with an inspirational presentation by award-winning chef Andy Waters from Birmingham. Andy explained to students how he began his career and went on to become a classically trained chef working in leading restaurants throughout the UK and France, including achieving the second fastest Michelin Star in the UK (after Marco Pierre White). Andy has won numerous awards and is now a consultant for top Birmingham restaurant Cielo.

"We are delighted to attend the first Steelite International educational tableware programme," said Jane Gibbons, Hospitality Manager at Stafford College. "The day provided an invaluable introduction to the tableware industry and showed students how it is an integral part of the hospitality sector. The 'hands on' activities such as the factory tour gave them the chance to see aspects of the industry that they would not usually have the opportunity to. Andy Waters' talk also offered some great inspiration and advice, which will be very useful to the students at this stage of their careers. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day, which was extremely useful as part of their studies."

"As a local company, we are committed to supporting new talent in the hospitality industry through education establishments such as Stafford College," said Peter Taylor, Steelite International's Vice President – Europe. "It is an extremely exciting time to be entering the hospitality industry and we hope that this new initiative will help to inspire students to take advantage of the vast range of career opportunities available in the sector."