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Food truck to offer students with learning disabilities hands-on experience for a career in hospitality

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Students serving food from the project's food truck
Ready for the summer: the Flying Fox truck, funded by a £30,000 grant from the Hilton Global Foundation, will serve customers in Minehead

A food truck parked outside the Foxes Hotel in Somerset, England, will allow students with learning disabilities to have a hands-on experience in hospitality through a variety of events, from food fairs to music festivals, boosting their skills and confidence while preparing them for employment in the industry. It has been funded by a £30,000 grant from the Hilton Global Foundation, which aims to have a positive impact on the communities that Hilton hotels serve.

The project is led by Aurora Foxes, previously known as Foxes Academy. Hilton, which is present in 122 countries and territories, has been a partner of Aurora Foxes since 2015, offering placements and work experience to students from the college. Since the partnership began, the centenary hotel chain has provided work placements for over 30 Foxes’ students and is set to offer a number of placements later this year. Currently, there are seven Aurora Foxes graduates employed in six of Hilton’s hotels. Foxes’ students work towards nationally-recognised qualifications and complete work experience at businesses across the UK.

“Finding fulfilling work is so important for our mental health and wellbeing, and we believe those who are able to work shouldn’t be locked out of the workforce. With the right support, employing someone with a disability can be a positive experience and helps to promote a happy and inclusive workforce” – says Emma Cobley MBE, principal at Aurora Foxes.

“Nurturing diverse talent is hugely important to us – and our close partnership with Aurora Foxes not only furthers these aims but has such a positive impact on our hotels where students come to work with us. Aurora Foxes has been a fantastic partner for us over the years and I’m thrilled that we’re offering a number of additional work placements at our hotels later this year. As we continue to build on our partnership, I look forward to seeing the benefits of the Flying Fox truck on the lives of students – and to tasting the delicious food they create.” – says Steve Cassidy, managing director at Hilton UK and Ireland.

The truck – supported by a team of Foxes’ students – will welcome customers on the promenade three days a week throughout the summer term, serving a selection of paninis and rice boxes. Foxes’ students will be running the truck, learning outdoor service skills including food preparation, hygiene and storage.

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Scholarship will help Black hospitality workers to further their careers in the UK

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Young black chef prepares a dish in the kitchen
Program will offer 15 funded places on selected courses offered at Leiths School of Food and Wine

Ben’s Original has launched a new scholarship program in the UK aimed to help support access to skills building and mentorship for Black hospitality workers so they can further their careers in the food industry, including becoming professional chefs or running their own food businesses.

The Seat at the Table Fund, which was first established in the U.S. in 2020, is a partnership with Be Inclusive Hospitality and the program will offer 15 funded places on selected courses offered by Leiths School of Food and Wine, one of the UK’s leading cookery schools, founded in 1975. Courses range from shorter specialized courses that run over a couple of days – Food Styling and Knife Skills – to longer accredited professional courses which run over a 10-week period – Chef’s Skills, Plant Based Essential Cooking and Nutrition in Culinary Practice. Successful candidates will also be offered three hours of mentorship over the course of three months via Be Inclusive Hospitality’s proven scheme to provide support, knowledge sharing and personal development. 

“Everyone deserves equal access to opportunities so we can all develop, progress and succeed in a career we love. However, sadly there are still barriers that exist within society that mean this isn’t always the case for everyone. Within the UK hospitality industry, data shows that Black workers are underrepresented particularly in the highest paid roles and through our fund we hope to create more equitable opportunities to help change that”, says Dave Dusangh, Regional President Mars Food Europe, owner of Ben’s Original brand which is investing £50,000 in this first year of the program.

This program is open to applicants who identify as Black working in operational roles in UK hospitality (those involved in the day-to-day running of the operation such as Chefs, front of house, or kitchen staff) who are looking to further their careers in the food industry.  

 

While 17% of UK hospitality workers are from ethnically diverse backgrounds, the majority are working in lower paid jobs. This is especially true when it comes to Black hospitality workers who are one of the groups least likely to be in the highest paid roles, and second most likely to be in lower paid roles. 

Applicants will need to have two years of experience working in hospitality and as part of the application process will be asked how this opportunity will help them to further their career ambition.

Applications will close on 30 September 2022, with classes taking place through to the end of the year and into early 2023. To find out more, and to apply, visit www.bensoriginal.co.uk/seatatthetablefund.  

 

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Moroccan students win a competition with an innovative energy-saving idea

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A group of students at ENSAM University of Casablanca and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Ben Guerir, will receive a 10,000 Euros cash prize after winning an annual competition that invites university students from around the globe to share their ideas for innovations that can help make the world cleaner, more inclusive, and more sustainable.

Schneider Go Green, an annual initiative powered by Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, recognized their Innovative energy-saving solar greenhouse presented by that Team GreenOverMorrow as an alternative to reduce energy losses, save water, and cut carbon emissions.
The judging panel, made up of senior executives from Schneider Electric and AVEVA, was particularly impressed by the applicability of the winning solution and the passion shown by the winning team, last month, to have a positive impact on farming in their region.
“With so many challenges now facing the planet – both environmental and social – we all have to help create a positive impact,”, says Charise Le, Schneider Electric’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “Change doesn’t always have to be big-bang and top-down. In fact, innovations like these – targeted, grassroots and small-scale, but also bold and impactful – are an important part of the overall solution. It’s our responsibility to help them become a reality.”

First launched in 2011 by Schneider Electric, and now run in collaboration with the industrial software company AVEVA, Schneider Go Green has expanded rapidly over the past decade. In 2022 alone, more than 22,200 students from 200 countries registered for the event.

For more details about the competition, including how to pre-register for the 2023 event, go to gogreen.se.com.

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United Kingdom to host Eurovision Song Contest in 2023

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Singer Sam Ryder, pictured during rehearsals, is representing the UK this year
Singer Sam Ryder, pictured during rehearsals, is representing the UK this year | Photo: EBU/Andres Putting

It has been 24 years since the UK hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, but the wait is over. Earlier today it has been confirmed that 2023 will be the 9th time the event has taken place in the United Kingdom, with the BBC doing so on behalf of Ukraine after their victory in Turin earlier this year.

The decision has been made following the exploration of hosting the Contest in Ukraine – and with organizers concluding that, for safety and security reasons, it will be better to have the event taking place elsewhere. The British Broadcast Corporation was then invited to act as Host Broadcaster for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.

To date, the UK has won the song content launched in 1956 on five occasions and hosted the event on 8 previous occasions: 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977 in London, 1972 in Edinburgh, 1974 in Brighton, 1982 in Harrogate, and 1998 in Birmingham.

‘The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions. Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s Contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.’ – anticipates Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The United Kingdom made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1957 and two years later, in 1959, husband and wife duo Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson, representing the country with ‘Sing, Little Birdie’, would be the first of 16 second place finishes – a record tally of silver medals added to by singer Sam Ryder in Turin earlier this year.

Next year’s Host City will be chosen in the coming months following a bidding process to be launched later this week.

According to organizers, several mayors, councillors and MPs have already informally expressed an intention to bid, including representatives from Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, London, and Newcastle.

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