A Masterchef’s Endorsement

Gregg WallaceTV Masterchef Gregg Wallace has given the newly opened Swale Skills Centre his stamp of approval. As a Kent resident, Gregg Wallace is the sponsor of the new café, launching ‘The Gregg Wallace Food Academy’ at the centre.

Swale Skills Centre, a vocational educational provision, located in the centre of Sittingbourne, has been opened since September 2015, offering courses in catering and hospitality and hair and beauty. They have newly fitted state of the art, fully equipped kitchen boasting industrial standard appliances. In addition, students are able to experience a high quality working environment allowing them to have hands on practical experience whilst undertaking their catering and hospitality courses. Students will gain valuable experience by working in both the café and restaurant as well as customer service skills, meeting and greeting customers and learning how to wait tables.

The centre has a growing apprenticeship programme in both catering and hair and beauty as well as engineering. Their aim is to work with local businesses and support the growing economy in and around the town.

The development of the centre’s facilities is part of the Spirit of Sittingbourne redevelopment project, with Swale Borough Council and Cathedral Contracts supplying new catering facilities in the centre.

KitchenPrincipal of the Centre, Clayton Laker knows the benefits that the Skills Centre will bring to the young people and community of Sittingbourne and surround areas. “There is definitely a skills shortage in Swale, the kind of courses we are running not only help the students learn but set them up for life”. He went to say that “As part of The Spirit of Sittingbourne regeneration project, Swale Borough Council are planning to put in cafes, restaurants and hair salons, so we wanted to make sure we train and provide the young people that will go into those facilities.”

Cllr Mike Cosgrove Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “This is very good news for the Borough. I have been a huge supporter of technical colleges, so I am delighted to see this come to fruition here in Swale. We also want to work closely with local businesses to upskill their existing workforces and to further develop apprenticeships across a broad range of jobs.”

The Gregg Wallace Food Academy give students the opportunity and full support to train as chefs for the future. “What I want to see is the youngsters embracing the industry, getting the most from it and for me to be eating in their restaurants in the years to come.” Mr Wallace is certain that the centre has a bright future.

If you want to see how the Skills Centre is developing, visit their website Swale Skills Centre.