Two of Harrogate's leading lights in hospitality give heartfelt thanks to Harrogate College for launching their careers
The hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, due to repeated lockdowns which shook consumer confidence and led to the loss of many skilled employees.
But Harrogate College’s hospitality team has been stepping up its efforts to strengthen its support for businesses in the town with training and apprenticeships.
The results have been praised by two of its most successful former students.
Callum Bowmer, who is chef at Rudding Park's award-winning Horto restaurant, and Neil Mendoza, who is general manager at The Studley Hotel and Orchid Restaurant, have both gone on to great things since training with the college.Neil Mendoza, who studied at Harrogate College from 2008 to 2010 and has worked with celebrity chef Marcus Wareing, said: “I had a fantastic experience at Harrogate College as it allowed me to learn more about the sector and led me to where I am today.
“The course made me understand the industry much better and helped me decide that this is the career I'd like to pursue."
Callum Bowmer, who was named Chef of the Year at the Harrogate Hospitality and Tourism Awards 2022, did an apprenticeship with the college in 2011, says it's an approach which is paying off for all involved.
“My time at college was fun, progressive and useful," said Callum.
"I would definitely recommend considering an apprenticeship, as you will learn so much more with the combination of a good workplace and a great college course."
Harrogate College's targeted help for the local industry has included talking directly to local employers about what they need from new employees and then customising what training is offered at the college to ensure it delivers.
Speaking for the college, its cultural, contemporary and heritage studies programme manager, Jason Parry, said: “It is all about ensuring that they leave here with a skillset that will prove invaluable to our local hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars - and so enable them to thrive in the industry.”
More information at www.harrogate-college.ac.uk/apprenticeships