College catering course managers have been criticised by a leading employer for abandoning practical training in favour of desk-bound studies.
Garry Hawkes, president of the British Hospitality Association and chief executive for one of the country's largest catering groups, Gardner Merchant, blamed the change on spending cuts and the push for degree studies over ordinary and higher national diplomas.
There was a clear mismatch of college aspirations and their training reality, he told the association's annual lunch. "Our industry employs one manager for every 10 technicians. Our education system generates one manager for every three technicians."