Birmingham conference venue upskills staff with new UCB apprenticeship

August 2018

A Birmingham conference venue has linked up with UCB to launch a new apprenticeship scheme.

Two members of staff from Conference Aston - Rafael Soldardo and Tim Florea - are the first to benefit from the partnership and the University’s Head of Apprenticeships Gail Tipper is delighted to be working with the venue.

She said: “Conference Aston is showing that one way to address skills shortages in the sector is to upskill existing employees with significant extra skills and knowledge by using quality apprenticeships delivered by the College of Food team.

“It’s a higher level apprenticeship standard which aligns to the University’s ambition to offer more higher and degree apprenticeships across all four of its schools.”

Rafael, from Cordoba, Spain, has begun an 18-month catering apprenticeship after joining Conference Aston as a kitchen porter 18 months ago.

After demonstrating a passion for cooking and demonstrating his basic chef skills in the kitchen, he was promoted to commis chef in July 2017 and will be helped with his English language skills by staff at UCB.

“I was very excited to be offered the chance to become a chef at Conference Aston and am very grateful to have the opportunity to learn the theory as well as put it into practice in the kitchens where I am learning from my experienced colleagues,” he said.

Tim has begun a hospitality apprenticeship through UCB after starting out as a front-of-house member of the restaurant team at Conference Aston two years ago.

Samantha Brown, Head of Conference Aston, said: “We are keen to invest in our staff and help them to develop the skills they need to go on to have a successful career. 

“Supporting them day-to-day is one thing, but offering them the chance to learn and gain nationally recognised qualifications at UCB, which is a well-respected college within the catering and hospitality sector, is a step up in our commitment to ensuring we have the right talent in the right job.”

Find out more about UCB's apprenticeships.

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