On Wednesday 28 November, catering supply giant Nisbets hosted a special drinks reception at its National Catering Equipment Centre in Bristol.
The event celebrate the recently established relationship between the UK’s new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales and Nisbets, as part of the ship’s affiliation with the city of Bristol. The aim was to attract young talent to careers within the catering and hospitality industry.
Guests included students from nearby colleges and representatives from local businesses. The reception also highlighted the workforce skills shortage facing the catering industry by promoting the opportunities available within the Royal Navy Catering Services cadre.
Both HMS Prince of Wales and Nisbets have strong connections to the city of Bristol and are keen to celebrate their relationship with the city and promote the job opportunities they offer residents. Nisbets has over 2,000 staff globally, with 1,200 based in its headquarters in Avonmouth and within HMS Prince of Wales and its crew, and the intention will be for the ship and Nisbets to maintain links with the city throughout its 50 years of active service.
Both organisations are aware of the skills shortage facing the hospitality and catering sector and how it will affect the armed forces, so the event focused on planning for the future. The evening showcased the talents of executive chefs currently working on board HMS Prince of Wales to demonstrate that it is a world class and unique environment to work within. Attendees were also asked to share their thoughts and ideas on how to attract new talent into the industry.
Klaus Goeldenbot, group CEO at Nisbets commented: “We are hugely pleased with the number of people who attended and it was especially exciting to have so many students come along from local colleges. The event was exceptionally well organised to encourage young people to consider careers within the catering cadre of the Royal Navy and I believe the students who attended will have gained a real insight into the options available to them.
“At a time when the hospitality industry is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, it is really important for us to champion career pathways within the sector. There is an untapped pool of young home-grown talent and, where traditionally hospitality roles may have been overlooked, it is our job to highlight the compelling opportunities, passion and fulfilment that our industry presents.”
Spokesman, WO1 Kevin Shenton, head of the ships catering services department onboard HMS Prince of Wales, said: “The event was a fantastic way to show our appreciation to the local community and to really demonstrate and explain to young Bristolians what it’s like to work on one of the world’s largest aircraft carriers. By using the facilities at the National Catering Equipment Centre, we were certainly able to let our chefs demonstrate their talent and let their passion shine through.”