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INSPIRE Work Experience: Delaware North

We have continued our support of Work Experience students throughout the business – with nearly 5000 hours of work experience completed! From HR to Finance, Culinary to Sales, Business Development to Tours, Operations to IT – our participants have been able to see such a diverse range of departments, depending on their studies, interests and needs. Our participants this year have come through a variety of means, including our established college links Epping Forest, Havering College and a new programme with Waltham Forest College, as well as universities and our community partners.

We are really proud of our Work Experience programme and what our participants get out of it – which we hear through all of the amazing feedback we get throughout the year. We know the value that it holds for students, and the colleges that we work with appreciate the value it adds to the students education – hear what Dawn Atkinson, Industry Placements and Work Experience Officer for Epping College has to say:

“The travel and tourism department have worked with Delaware North in previous years and have found them a great company to work with. I came on board last year in sourcing work experience and found Delaware North very efficient and reliable to work with. The students were sent to London stadium and Emirates and thoroughly enjoyed their time at both venues. The staff showed them all aspects of catering/hospitality rather than staying in one department. They came back from their work experience full of enthusiasm and had said that the timetable they were given for their work experience was really good. I do hope we can continue this great relationship and excellent work ethic from Delaware North. All students at NCC have a unit of work experience which consist of 30 hours preferably to be completed in one block week chosen by the department as and when they are to complete this. Work experience would normally be in line with their study programme and we have found this to be an integral part of their course and have gained a high success rate in doing this.”

We are looking forward to hosting another 6 work experience students from Epping Forest in 2020.

Now let’s hear from some of our work experience participants from 2019:

George Gray – Work Experience with Tours Team at the London Stadium – now working as a Tour Experience Maker

“It has always been my dream to work behind the scenes at my football club’s home and the week of work experience made it come true. The team were very friendly and welcomed me from day one and I was thrown straight into the job preparing the changing rooms and handing out the multimedia sets for the day’s tours. My favourite part of the week was accompanying the tours and meeting the visitors, helping to make their visit the best possible experience. Taking photos on the green screen opportunity was something I hadn’t done before and I felt more and more confident as the week went on. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the London Stadium and was absolutely thrilled when I was invited to join the team at Delaware North at the end of the week. Thank you to James and the team, it was the best experience of working life I could have wished for!”

Daniel Adjei Sarpong – Was a casual worker within Logistics at Emirates Stadium. Completed Work Experience with Finance, Capital Court, and is starting a salaried position as Food and Beverage Administrator at ExCel in January!

“Having come into the Head office 6 months ago through a work experience placement, my time has been wonderful. What started as a work experience placement progressed into something new, to a causal role and most recently a new role at the Excel Centre I am looking forward to start.

From my first encounter with the various departments (from finance to procurement and HR) I have really learned the components and responsibilities in the daily operations of Delaware North and each department, and the hard work every person puts in.

Being able to be apart of that and learning and experiencing first hand pushed me, from invoicing, to calling suppliers to chase up invoices and various other experience. This has helped in in transitioning into a new role I look forward to starting.

I have learned a lot, also learning that not one day is the same in Delaware North. I have learnt how to be more resilient, not letting anything stop or get in my way, pushing forward and jumping into situations and responsibilities that I would not have been used to before, getting me out of my comfort zone and pressing on. With that in mind, as mentioned before I am starting a new role, this couldn’t have happened without the experience during my time at Head office and for that I am thankful to everyone!”

Inspire School and College Visits

 

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 The Arsenal team hosted Havering College for a taster day – giving them an insight into our world of Stadium Hospitality. They were treated to demonstrations by Tommy, Head Chef of Diamond Club, as well as mocktail making with Bartosz and a fantastic tour by Jacquie Mann! Let’s hear what Tony Pecoraro, Food Service Lecturer at Havering College had to say:

The tour of the Stadium was conducted with great enthusiasm and pride by all staff. Everyone was so friendly, which made the visit most enjoyable for all. Thank you all for being so helpful, courteous and concise about the jobs at Delaware and taking the time to talk to the students about the prospect and opportunities for jobs in their chosen career. The Food and Cocktail demonstrations were well received by the students and staff and I am sure the information and knowledge gained from the visit will help our students with their assignments and to further appreciate the hospitality and catering industry. The meal and other refreshments were very well served and much appreciated. You were all excellent. Thank you. The feedback from our students and staff has been very positive and they were all impressed with Delaware North Companies (UK), historical background, facilities, lay out of the restaurants and the high standard of service and cleanliness.”

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 The Wembley Team hosting Lakefield College and visiting Ark Elvin Academy. At Ark Elvin Academy, Harry and his team delivered an engaging demonstration to group of students interested in pursuing catering as a career. Chris Nicholson, Teacher at Ark Elvin, said “[we are so] grateful to you and your team for coming into Ark Elvin and delivering such an engaging session for our pupils. They loved listening to your experiences and enjoyed hearing about what it is to be a chef.

The London Stadium team have also developed a partnership with local college Waltham Forest – Travel and Tourism students visited the stadium to see the operation and meet the team – which resulted in 5 students having work experience placements throughout the year. A number of these students are now working on match days in London Stadium’s hospitality suites – a very successful partnership for both the college, students and us! 

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FutureChef Programme: Delaware North

FutureChef 2018/2019

Thank you to our amazing chefs that have taken part of FutureChef 2018/2019 and inspired the next generation of chefs. Let us look at the great work they have accomplished in 2019:

Wembley Stadium’s Culinary Team’s relationship with Ark Elvin Academy, in Wembley

Wembley Stadium’s Culinary Team have been in regular contact with Ark Elvin Academy for many years. Throughout the years, some pupils have been doing work experience in the stadium’s kitchen. And the chefs have been doing chef demonstrations on different technical skills. In July 2019, Harry Lomas did a chef demonstration at the Academy on chicken filleting, as well as answered questions to the pupils about becoming a chef.

“Just a quick email to say how grateful we are to you and your team for coming into Ark Elvin and delivering such an engaging session for our pupils. They loved listening to your experiences and enjoyed hearing about what it is to be a chef. Your story about what the Queen has for breakfast was the star of the show for many of our pupils – one pupil was even playing the same guessing game on the field during sports day with his friends. The chicken went down really well, a pupil was telling me that he was going to cook some at the weekend.” Teacher at Ark Elvin Academy

Bruce Beacon’s relationship with Forest Gate Community School, in Stratford

In 2019, I have been in contact with a local school in Stratford, called Forest Gate Community School. The school wanted support from a chef to demonstrate some technical skills to 60 students aged 14 years old. I did four chef demonstrations to show them on how to make lasagne. After each class, I talked about the hospitality industry, Delaware North to inspire them to want to cook, and answered any questions that they might had.

Recently, the school asked me to go back on a regular basis to continue to inspire and demonstrate other technical cooking skills to the students, which I am happy to do so. The school and I are also trying to arrange for the students to come for a tour of the London Stadium. That will give me the opportunity to show them the stadium back of house area, and the fast paced environment that take place during a match or concert day.

Gary Foakes judging and mentoring a FutureChef student

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Gary Foakes at The London Stadium supported FutureChef 2018/2019 by judging at Havering College local final, where 8 students from 12 to 16 years old competed. Then, Gary mentored the winning student Ray for a few months to help him prepare for the Regional final and then the National final where Ray took the runner-up position.

Here is what Ray says about his passion for cooking and the support Gary offered him during the competition:
“I've always had a passion for cooking and nice ingredients, I read loads of cooking books and enjoy watching famous chefs make something extraordinary, and then love the feeling I get when I recreate it myself.

Cooking must be in my blood, my Nan worked as a chef, and I've since discovered that my 'Great Great grandfather' and his 4 sons all had their own bakeries, going way back to the first world war.

When I was 11, I spent a day cooking with my cooking hero Raymond Blanc at the Michelin starred Belmond aux Quat’Saisons and haven’t stopped cooking since.

My mentor throughout this competition is my new inspiration and I've really enjoyed working with him, thank you Gary!” Ray Gardner, FutureChef National Finalist.

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FutureChef Prize to a National Finalist 

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The runner up of the FutureChef Competition 2018/2019 Ray was joined by his father to attend a 2019 Champion League Match at Wembley Stadium. Ray did a work placement in the VIP area before the match, shadowing Head of Culinary Harry Lomas. It was a great opportunity for Ray to see the back of house area and experience the running of the kitchens and operations during a match day, which supported his education further.

 

FutureChef Programme 2019/2020

Neil Richards and Ellie Nicholson joined the FutureChef Steering Group

To ensure that FutureChef’s evolution is sustainable and fit for purpose, The Springboard Charity needs expert involvement in key development areas and is setting up several Expert Groups to facilitate this. Therefore, Neil Richards, Food Services Director recently joined the FutureChef Chef Engagement expert group. FutureChef has grown to such a scale, that it now needs more chefs than ever to volunteer support in the following roles. This group will be responsible for maximising chef engagement in the following roles, FutureChef Champions, Competition Mentors, Competition Judges, FutureChef “Demo” Chefs and Resources Chefs.

In addition, Ellie Nicholson, Variable Workforce Recruitment Manager joined the FutureChef Talent Pipeline expert group. FutureChef programme presents a significant pool of potential candidates for college programmes, apprenticeship or other trainee chef opportunities. The role of the FutureChef Talent Pipeline Expert Group is to identify ways to capitalise on this recruitment opportunity.

FutureChef ’s plan for 2020 

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In 2020 Delaware North will continue and develop its work with FutureChef, with the Chefs engaging with their local schools. They will offer mentoring for FutureChef participants, whilst also holding “look and learn” skills demonstrations in schools for wider participation. Delaware North and Springboard are working together to collaborate each culinary team with a local school to start building even more great relationships with our local communities.

 

FutureChef Prize – Choice of a Wasps Rugby or Arsenal Football Match 

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The prize for the runner-up of the FutureChef National Final is to attend a premier league match in Football or Rugby with three guests – hosted at either the Ricoh Arena, home to Wasps Rugby, or at the Emirates Stadium home to Arsenal FC. The student will do a work experience in the VIP area before the match, shadowing the Executive Head Chef of the Stadium. The prize also includes seeing the back of house area of the Stadium before joining the winner’s guests for the match itself.

Ambassador Activities: Aaliyah Bailey from Head Office

Her top 3 events this year are:

My number one moment of this year as a Springboard ambassador was the CV and Interview skills workshop we took part in at Kingston College. The staff at the college were very hospitable which was a bonus to the overall experience, but essentially, this was super rewarding as we sat down and engaged with each student on a one to one basis, giving them tips and advice on their CV and interview skills. Throughout the day it became evident that they were taking the feedback on board and were very appreciative of the time we had spent with them. It was also very nice to see the great amount of students who have a budding interest for working in the hospitality industry. 

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Second on my list would be the talk I attended at the Royal Society for Public Health on the mental wellbeing of the hospitality workforce. This was a reality check which shed light on the pressures people working within the hospitality industry may face, with lots of research. I think addressing such issues is vital, because if we are aware of such problems, then preventative measures can be put in place to combat these issues- making the industry more attractive to those wanting to have a career in it and more enjoyable for those who currently work within the sector. 

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Number three would be the Springboard Ambassador conference at Coin Street. This was useful as I was able to network with individuals from other companies who also work on behalf of Springboard and learn more about tasks they have been involved in; equally, we were able to share information on the many activities we as Delaware North had been a part of.

Alison Gray speaking at FLIGHT (Future Leaders in Hospitality and Tourism)

 

In June this year, I represented Delaware North at the 2-day FLIGHT, Future Leaders in Hospitality and Tourism Conference, http://www.flighthospitality.org.uk. I was asked to judge and speak about work experience, the importance of it in helping to shape young people’s views and options of our industry, and to highlight the great work our HR and field teams do in welcoming individuals onto placement programmes at Delaware North.

We are very proud to hold the INSPIRE accreditation at Delaware North: INSPIRE is the hospitality industry’s Quality Assurance for Work Experience, it ensures consistent delivery of quality work experience. As we work with our wider organisation to evolve the Attract & Hire Strategy within the global re-engineering of the Talent Acquisition model, our Emerging Talent department has been supporting us this year to ‘future-scope’ on how we can increasingly design placements, support both managers and students to gain the most from the work experience.

At FLIGHT, I talked about how to create the “magic” during a work experience: it is a 3-way relationship, between the employer, the educational establishment and the intern. It composed of a framework, agreement on how this will work for each parties and creating a successful intern experience, that includes elements around Culture and Community, Vision and Values, Being “Looked after” and a Career Development plan.

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It is also important to measure the progress for continuous improvement by doing exit surveys from work experience interns, gathering feedback from placement partners, and compiling conversion, progression and application rates.

In Summary, I felt very proud to talk at the FLIGHT conference on this subject. My audience consisted of students, employers and educational leaders, all with a common goal of seeking better understanding on how we can develop a symbiotic relationship to ‘inspire’ young people to join this wonderful world we live in. As an Ambassador for Springboard and Delaware North, I am looking forward to opportunities in 2020 to share this message broader and wider, to highlight Delaware North: who we are and what a career with us can look like.

 

Ambassador Activities: Ellie Nicholson from Head Office

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This has been my third year as a Springboard Ambassador and again I have been able to be involved in a number of different projects and activities. My three highlights are:

Springboard Conference

I attended the Springboard Ambassadors conference earlier this year, and enjoyed being able to network with fellow Hospitality industry professionals, get some insights into the challenges of hospitality and culinary education and support in schools – this really energised my participation and enthusiasm for what we do with Springboard, helping and facilitating our ambassadors and other support within our business. (2 Instagram Photos of the Ambassador Conference)

Havering College Visit

I supported the team at the Emirates Stadium hosting Havering College, we got great feedback from this event and I really enjoyed working with the Emirates team to put it together. The team did a great job facilitating the students learning, putting on two chef demonstrations, a tour and mocktail making. The students were engaged throughout, some of them were even interested in event day work, and we got some great feedback – a fab experience all round.

Job Fairs

Myself and my team attend a huge number of job fairs each year – many with the support of the operators out in the business, both Springboard ambassadors and not. Depending on the fairs, we have different audiences to appeal to – whether that’s a Freshers Fair advertising part time work to incoming university students, job centre sessions supporting jobseekers into paid employment who have had some difficulties in returning to the workplace, or school and college careers fairs talking to students from ages 13 – 18 about the Hospitality industry, opportunities, career paths and where to find more – these are not only engaging days out from behind a desk but often are great feeders into other programmes including work experience and casual work.