Our News

9 January 2014

CAVC students hungry for business set up their own catering company

Cardiff and Vale College is gearing up to launch an innovative new Learning Company at the Maltings in Cardiff.

Students from the College will operate an in-house catering service for the Maltings Ltd from next month. Recently, Hospitality & Catering students held a special free tasting of the kinds of wares they will provide as part of their Learning Company.

Learning Companies are student-led enterprises. Staffed by students and supported by the College, the company will provide genuine work experience opportunities and the chance to learn skills that are relevant to world of work. Operating full-time throughout the year and not just in term time, Learning Companies can employ students on a learning contract, which is similar to regular employment but within the College environment.

CAVC Hospitality & Catering Lecturer and Development Officer Darren Greenland said: “It’s very important that learners are given an opportunity to utilise skills they learn in College in a real work environment and this is what the Maltings project will provide.  Learners will have experience of ordering, production, customer service, handling cash and of course budgeting.  In addition, the learners will be responsible for marketing and promoting the service both internally and externally at the Maltings, which has been identified by local employers as an important work skill.”  

Sian Drinkwater, who works at the Maltings, said: “It’s very nice and I think I would use this service. It’s good experience for the students and it’s especially good to know that some hot food will be available on site. You won’t have to make anything - when you bring in food you’ve made there’s normally quite a queue for the microwave. It’s brilliant.”

Learning Companies are part of the Gazelle Colleges’ ethos. The Gazelle Colleges Group, of which CAVC is the only Welsh member, aims to transform Further Education by developing new learning models focused on providing students with commercial, entrepreneurial learning opportunities. The colleges sit at the heart of their local entrepreneurial ecosystems, breaking down the barriers between business and education by developing innovative partnerships with local employers and community stakeholders, to equip students with the skills, capabilities and confidence to make or a take job.