The Celtic Collection is delighted to welcome a cohort of 20 aspiring chefs into its kitchens as part of a unique partnership with University College Birmingham. This collaboration seeks to create future leaders of the hospitality industry and address nationwide recruitment challenges.

As part of a 12-month placement, students on the four-year Culinary Arts Management degree course will kickstart their career in the world of hospitality, gaining hands-on experience with the talented culinary team at the iconic Celtic Manor Resort and other Celtic Collection venues in South Wales.

Now on its fourth cohort, the partnership has proved a resounding success so far, with the students receiving a comprehensive, real world learning experience and enhancing their practical skills in a variety of restaurant and banqueting kitchens.

Michel Bates, Executive Chef at The Celtic Collection, said:

“We are delighted to embark on another year of culinary collaboration with University College Birmingham. This exciting initiative gives students the opportunity to train under the guidance of our experienced team of chefs, paving the way for a bright future in the world of hospitality.

“With chef recruitment one of the biggest challenges facing the sector, we hope that this practical experience in our dynamic kitchen will inspire students with a passion for food and hospitality to pursue a career in the industry upon graduating.”

On completion of the placement, the Celtic Manor Resort will host a celebratory graduation lunch, presenting students with Chefs’ Jackets and certificates in recognition of their hard work and dedication.

University College Birmingham Student Anna Joy, currently on placement as a Commis Chef at Celtic Manor’s Olive Tree restaurant, said:

“When you come into the real industry, there are a lot of things that you learn from new. It was a bit tough for me to start but now, with all the guidance of my head chefs and seniors, I’ve been able to progress myself.

“You kind of feel like a family, that you are allowed to make mistakes and you learn from them. That gives you a good base as a student.” 

Alumni from last year’s scheme, which ran from July 2022 – July 2023, will showcase their culinary skills by cooking alongside senior chefs from the Celtic Manor Resort for a Welsh Evening at University College Birmingham. This will become an annual event, further cementing the partnership between the two organisations.

University College Birmingham, whose culinary graduates include Michelin-starred Brad Carter and MasterChef finalist Leo Kattou, is also creating a dedicated Facebook Group for alumni students to foster lasting connections and facilitate networking opportunities within the industry.

The placement scheme is one of a number of collaborative training initiatives undertaken by The Celtic Collection which partners with the University of South Wales to deliver a pioneering Hotel and Hospitality Management degree. The Collection also offers a range of placements to students at Coleg Gwent and other further education colleges.

In addition, it offers comprehensive training programmes to all employees as well as a range of attractive benefits to enhance rewarding careers within the exciting hospitality industry.

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