Colleges skimp on vegetarian menu;FE Focus

20th March 1998 at 00:00
Vegetarian restaurants get a raw deal from college training courses, according to a national inspection report on the standards in England, writes Ngaio Crequer.

Catering is now very multicultural, but there is little training to prepare students for work in Chinese or Indian restaurants say the inspectors. And only a few colleges ran vegetarian courses.

However, colleges overall win high praise for the quality of hotel and catering training in a curriculum report by the Further Education Funding Council inspectors.

Three-quarters (73 per cent) of courses, which includes leisure, tourism and travel, achieved top grades where "strengths outweighed weaknesses". The inspectors point out that in an industry that accounts for around 4 per cent of the gross domestic product and a 30 per cent growth in jobs over the past decade, the quality of hospitality and catering courses is critically important.

Staff turnover in the industry was high - 27 per cent a year. "For the past five years, hotels and restaurants have reported the highest proportion of hard-to-fill vacancies of any businesses." There was a concern that colleges could only meet part of the increasing demand for trained workers in some parts of the industry.

Inspectors had a few quibbles. Some colleges needed to develop their curricular links with employers. Few had advisory or consultative committees, some abandoned because of poor attendance and a lack of interest from the industry.

One issue was the decrease in the number of taught hours allocated to full-time courses, and further reductions are on the way. "During the past three years there has been a shift from an average of about 24 hours a week to an average of 21 hours a week across the programme area.

"The hours allocated varied from 15 to 27.5 hours a week. Some colleges fear that a continued reduction in class contact time will adversely affect the practical elements of the course."

One final point was that work environments did not always reflect current trade practice. "For instance, menus are still written in French and many of the dishes would not feature on a menu in the kind of establishment the training restaurant is intended to mirror."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now