Paul Mercer, Deputy Head of Hospitality, Management, Tourism and Languages at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) and Ken Sharp, owner of The Salty Dog Hotel and Bistro and The Boathouse in Bangor announce the launch of two new Higher Level Apprenticeship programmes in Hospitality and Tourism Management  with Specialism at SERC.

South Eastern Regional College (SERC), as part of the wider college network, a collaboration of five Further Education Colleges in Northern Ireland, are rolling out two new Higher-Level Apprenticeships (HLA) which will give people working in the Hospitality and Catering Sector the opportunity to top up their experience with a higher-level qualification.

Paul Mercer, Deputy Head of Hospitality, Management, Tourism and Languages at SERC said, “Qualifications have always been important to the industry and whilst every college is keen to see their students leave with the right qualifications, here at SERC, we are keen to be part of the drive to professionalise our industry.   Our offer of the Higher-Level Apprenticeship in Hospitality & Tourism Management with Specialisms has been designed for those people who have been working in the industry and are ready to gain a higher-level qualification and management skills.   On completion they will have gained a Foundation Degree validated by Ulster University.

He added, “There are two pathways, Hospitality Management for those at or aspiring to supervisory/management levels, and, Culinary Arts, for those at or aspiring to Sous Chef and Head Chef.  The two and a half year programmes are fully funded for the employer and the employee is earning whilst they complete the qualification.”

Ken Sharp, owner of The Salty Dog Hotel and Bistro and The Boathouse in Bangor said, “We are excited about the new higher-level qualifications which offers another step towards recognising professionalism in the industry.   They offer a good fit with businesses who place value on developing skills, through experience and supporting an employee’s commitment to a career in the sector. This is about the industry preparing our people for what’s next in tourism.”

Applications are now open for the Higher-Level Apprenticeship in Hospitality & Tourism Management with Specialisms in Hospitality Management or Culinary Arts which commences in January 2020.

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