• Cyril McAree

Top European Award For Limerick Strand Hotel

Limerick Strand came home with the TOP award in Helsinki at the Employer’s Award by the European Alliance of Apprenticeships.

The Awards are part of European Vocational Skills Week 2019 and highlight best practice and recognise excellence in Vocational Education and Training (VET) all over Europe. Executive Chef Tom Flavin and one of his Commis Chef Apprentices, Jose Mata, 2nd year apprentices studying under the National Commis Chef Apprenticeship Programme were there to accept the award.

Pic Shows from Left to Right: PBernadette nright – Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board,Tom Flavin – Executive Chef Limerick Strand Hotel, Jose Ordóñez Mata – Apprentice, Kieran O’Shaughnessy - Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Paul Patton - Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board

“This is an fantastic achievement made possible by two parties, education & industry working hand in hand and endorsed in Europe with this award “ said Bernadette Enright - Manager of Hospitality Campus, Limerick & Claire Education and Training Board.

The VET Excellence Awards highlight best practice and recognise excellence in Vocational Education and Training (VET) all over Europe. By showcasing the best examples of VET, they provide visibility and recognition for good work – and motivate individuals and organisations that work with VET. This serves to build new networks, expand existing ones, and create new career opportunities. Winners of the awards hold the prestige of becoming ambassadors in their field.

“The Limerick Strand Hotel was one of the first employers to engage with the National Commis Chef Apprenticeship programme when it was first launched in 2017. Since then, they have provided on-the-job training for apprentice chefs, supplying them with the required equipment, tools, resources and guidance to complete their apprenticeship assessments. The hotel is dedicated to the on going development of its staff, providing further opportunities for the apprentices to develop outside of their work by enrolling them in additional skill development courses” said Tim Finn, Chief Executive, Irish Hotels Federation.

Jose Mata, one of the apprentices employed by the Strand Hotel recently entered and won gold in the National Catex culinary competition. Apprentice mobility is encouraged and supported, with one apprentice each year given the opportunity to train in a Michelin Star restaurant in France for a month, developing advanced culinary skills.

“We are thrilled to bring this coveted award back to Limerick. Without leadership and training in our industry the chef shortage crisis will continue. We need to invest in our apprentices, allowing them to learn, grow and flourish,” said Tom Flavin, Executive Chef, Limerick

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