Cotswold Star Academy launches at The Fish Hotel

21 September 2017

The Cotswold Star Academy launched this week with stars who will be attending the Academies' 12-month training programme meeting at The Fish Hotel on the Farncombe Estate, one of the businesses who are heavily involved in the Academy. Joined by representatives from fellow Academy employers Ellenborough Park and The Lucky Onion Group, six stars got the chance to meet and get to know each other in a day filled with team building and being introduced to the apprenticeship content.

The Cotswold Star Academy was created to give young people in the Cotswolds with a passion for catering and hospitality the chance to gain work experience with local luxury brands. The course has been specially developed by Gloucestershire College and is being supported by The Savoy Educational Trust and Creed Catering; both long-standing champions of the hospitality industry who drive to promote the huge range of careers in this dynamic sector.

“The stars will be working front of house, in the bar, restaurant and reception, carrying out the tasks of any regular team member. We want to offer them an amazing place to learn with a unique company. Apprenticeships like this bring people into our business that are passionate and career driven and want to learn and develop their career in the industry. We have chosen GC due to their commitment to the industry and as a quality training provider”
– Joel Whitehouse, People Resourcing Manager at Farncombe Estate

Each star has opportunity to earn while they learn to work their way up to a managerial career, gaining valuable skills as well as qualifications along the way. The unique environment created by the Academy enables students to get on-the-job training and experience, while they are able to learn online and shadow professionals in their dream field. They can also look forward to attending professional seminars and masterclasses at each of the venues, as well as with The Chefs’ Forum.

“The hospitality industry pays a very important part in the economy of Gloucestershire and evidence suggests that employment in this sector will continue to rise. By launching this very important initiative, the College will be playing its part to increase the visibility of careers in this exciting industry”
– Jo O’Connell, Head of Hospitality at Gloucestershire College

The day started with a meet and greet session for the stars, as well as representatives from Farncombe Estate, Ellenborough Park, The Lucky Onion and the College. Six ambitious stars attended, some of whom have been working together already. They were able to share their experiences and become more familiar with the apprenticeship they would be undertaking. We were also joined by The Echo whose article on the launch you can read here.

Following the short meet and greet, the stars (and some employers) were taken for a Segway team building session before an information session with the College. They were taught how to ride a Segway and raced against each other. One of the ways in which the Cotswold Star Academy is unique from other apprenticeship and learning opportunities is highlighted in these kinds of activities, as it is our aim to build the confidence and social skills of the stars outside the expectations of their qualifications.

“The Cotswold Star Academy has great rewards for both apprentices and employers and has the potential to be a fabulous career building scheme”
– Jessica de Marco, The Lucky Onion Group

Meet The Stars

Annemarie Kaiser

Annemarie will be completing her apprenticeship at Farncombe Estate.

“My dream career is to be a manager in the hospitality industry. The academy gives me the help and advise I need to know how a manager should be. I love to work with people and I like to serve them, so the Academy was a great choice. In a few years I hope to be a supervisor and maybe food and beverage manager.”


Emily Haines

Emily attended Hartpury College before applying for the Cotswold Star Academy to further her career.

“I felt the Cotswold Star Academy would be a fantastic way to improve my skills in the hospitality industry and further my career. My dream career is to be able to own my own cocktail bar and be able to run a business of my own, and be able to show off my creativity in the industry. I love working in a team, meeting new people and making customers feel special. Being able to share my ideas and get creative with cocktails is my passion and I feel like the hospitality industry helps me to do this. The Academy will also allow me to develop my skills in leadership management and help me to work better in a team.”


Emily Smitten

Emily applied to the Cotswold Star Academy for the opportunity to further her career in an environment that enables her to earn while she works towards her career goals.

“I applied to the Cotswold Star Academy due to the opportunities it would give me. It will allow me to enhance my work further and encourage me to think for myself within my hospitality job further down the line. I hope that I will learn to work as part of a team more effectively and also how to manage a team myself. I hope to enhance my team and management skills. I enjoy helping people create special memories and hospitality is the best industry to help me do so. I would love to stay at The Fish Hotel, or move onto another hotel on the Farncombe Estate.”


Jessica Shackleton

Jessica is the youngest star at 16-years-old, and hopes to use the skills and qualifications she gains from the Cotswold Star Academy to progress onto a higher apprenticeship and a career in the catering industry.

“I chose the Cotswold Star Academy because it was a course that supplied everything I wanted; good pay, great experience, a massive social element and amazing companies. I love cooking and this apprenticeship allows me to do this as well as meet new people and help me towards my dream career to be a head chef or event manager. After the Cotswold Star Academy I would like to start another apprenticeship scheme in a higher chef role to build my knowledge and skills towards becoming a chef.”


Sarah Worthy-Jones

Sarah joined the Academy to further her career in hospitality, and work towards her a career which allows her to work with lots of different people.

“I applied to the Cotswold Star Academy because I wanted to learn everything properly in an actual workplace – it sounded like a great opportunity that I shouldn’t pass up! I hope to learn all of the skills to help me become a supervisor or manager. I feel the Academy is the right way to go about it and will push us so we know exactly what to do when we go on to full-time positions. It also offers great support throughout.”


Zoe Lees

Zoe was recommended to apply by her manager who thought it was the perfect opportunity to help her progress in her career.

“Before I knew about this course I was interested in joining the RAF and serving as a nurse assistant, although now I think a managerial position in hospitality would be great! I have always had a great love for food and drinks so I applied for a small restaurant and soon realised how much I love working with food and meeting new people. I hope to gain valuable skills, knowledge and confidence through the Academy, and use what I have learnt to further my career in the hospitality industry.”

Why Gloucestershire College?

We have a lot of experience offering Apprenticeships and work-related training. We have industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching staff which provide the ideal complement to work-based learning.

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