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EDUCATION Hospitality Training and STAFF ST FOOD & RESTAURANT GUIDE Vocational Training

Interview with Executive Dean Professor Alan Bowen-James from Le Cordon Bleu Australia

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Interview with Executive Dean Professor Alan Bowen-James from Le Cordon Bleu Australia

With the current restriction on travel and its impact on overseas students  COVID has forced many educational and vocational training institutions to focus attention on supporting current and prospective domestic students with new, more accessible options to learn at Le Cordon Bleu (LCB).

LCB want to encourage students to think seriously about hospitality and gastronomy when considering their future careers. For this reason they currently are offering significant scholarships for their new Higher Education Certificates to make it easier for domestic students to access a top-quality culinary education.

LCB courses remain  very attractive to students globally. Many  domestic students come to LCB because they see a qualification from Le Cordon Bleu as an investment with great, long-term rewards, including employability and recognition.

All Le Cordon Bleu students have a distinct advantage with an internationally recognised qualification, it is essentially, a passport to the world and beyond that, a Le Cordon Bleu qualification is a statement of achievement and a guarantee of quality.

LCB want to encourage students to think seriously about hospitality and gastronomy when considering their future careers. For this reason they currently are offering significant scholarships for their new Higher Education Certificates to make it easier for domestic students to access a top-quality culinary education.

The Sydney Times is happy to share this interview with the Dean of LCB Professor

The Sydney Times is happy to share this interview with the Dean of LeCordon Bleu Professor Alan Bowen-James.

 

1.) How is the hospitality sector looking right now in terms of employment? (E.g. are markets bouncing back or can we expect them to bounce back soon? Are people still choosing to study in this area? Are there any workers/skills that continue to be in shortage despite the COVID disruption?

The hospitality industry has taken a very big hit this year, there’s no denying that. Lockdowns and the collapse of international tourism, not to mention concerns for personal safety in confined spaces have forced hundreds of businesses to close, with a completely unpredictable future. However, despite these challenges, the hospitality industry has remained surprisingly resilient, with many businesses becoming truly innovative so that many of us can still enjoy life’s pleasures– good food, wine, and experiences.

Despite the challenging environment, we’re still seeing solid enrollments into Le Cordon Bleucourses, especially our 13 new Undergraduate and Postgraduate Higher Education Certificates. These new courses are fully accredited and delivered 100% online, offering a range of study for career opportunities that are as promising as ever, including gastronomy, tourism, and food management— careers we predict will boom once the world opens up again.

2.) Is the hospitality sector still a good choice for school leavers/career changers?

Absolutely! Regardless of the crises humanity has had to face, from wars to pandemics, the hospitality industry has always been with us in one way or another. People will always need what the industry has to offer and therefore hospitality will always be a viable and rewarding career path. “Hospitality” is all about a friendly and generous reception and the entertainment and enjoyment of guests. When strict social distancing measures were put in place, people longed more than ever for those experiences that only hospitality provides. COVID has reminded everyone of just how important the hospitality industry is to our psychological as well as physical well-being. We want to keep the dream of working in hospitality alive, and truly feel a sense of duty as an established and respected culinary institution to help make this happen. Hospitality is part of the heart and soul of Australia, and we want to see it return to its full glory. To do that, we need to ensure that the industry is supported by professionals who can continue to offer incredible dining and hospitality experiences. Most of our students come to us fresh out of school with a passion for cuisine and a desire to start a career in hospitality. But we do have an increasing number of new students who are already well into other careers and are looking for a sea change or a new set of skills. Many simply want to learn how to be excellent cooks.No matter the path that has brought people to us, everyone graduates with a professional passport into the world of fine dining and hospitality. A Le Cordon Bleu qualification is the key to

work in any restaurant in any city, anywhere. The possibilities are truly endless, which is why people have come to study with us for 125 years.

3.) Are there any roles or segments within the hospitality sector that have weathered the theCOVID-19 storm better than others / have more job security?

Rather than certain roles or segments within the sector being inherently more secure, I believe itis a question of volume and demand. As there are fewer people to serve, less people to host, the need for staff shrinks across all areas of hospitality, from kitchens to front desks. As with most industries, it is a matter of supply and demand. Job security generally is a thing of the past for many of us. But skills and know-how are enduring; they create a different sort of security that is less focused on hanging on to a specific job than having what it takes to find new opportunities.As the pandemic evolves, we will see employment in hospitality fluctuate. That is inevitable in an industry that of itself reflects the mood of society. When society is depressed – psychologically as well as economically – the hospitality industry is depressed. But when things improve, you will see that reflected immediately in hospitality in a way that will not be so apparent in other industries. Yes, that means that hospitality is one of the early casualties of a pandemic. But it is also one of the early beneficiaries of a return to normality.

I honestly believe this is the right time for culinary hopefuls to look beyond the kitchen and to remember there are many promising career paths within the hospitality industry that don’t involve food preparation, such as front of house positions, food photography, food journalism, hotel, and event management. This is the perfect time to explore where one’s passions might lie in the world of hospitality, and an education at Le Cordon Bleu will pave the way for any of those choices.

4.) If someone has their heart set on a career in hospitality but is struggling to get a foot in the door at the moment, what can they do in the meantime?

COVID has focused our attention on supporting current and prospective domestic students with new, more accessible options to learn at Le Cordon Bleu. We want to encourage students to think seriously about hospitality and gastronomy when considering their future careers. For this reason, we currently are offering significant scholarships for our new Higher Education Certificates to make it easier for everyone to access a top-quality culinary education.

Our courses are very attractive to students globally. We find domestic students come to us because they see a qualification from Le Cordon Bleu as an investment with great, long-term rewards, including employability and recognition. All Le Cordon Bleu students have a distinct advantage with an internationally recognised qualification. I referred to it earlier as a ‘passport’, which it is. But beyond that, a Le Cordon Bleu qualification is a statement of achievement and a guarantee of quality.

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