Paul Biddle

Shortly after joining Harrison Catering Services as Director of Human Resources, I was introduced to the FSM Steering Group at Springboard. I was enthused by the support which was available to students should they take up an INSPIRE work experience programme. The programme ensures planning and delivery of first class work experience.

My training manager, Alex Taylor, and I met with Ruth Bankover to put in place a structured work experience programme, so the company could offer opportunities for students to work in a school kitchen helping to prepare fresh food from scratch. As a company, Harrison firmly believes that we should give students the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a safe working environment, giving them the chance to make an informed decision about future career choices.

In October last year we asked Ruth to visit one of our sites to review the work experience we were offering. Following this formal review, Harrison was awarded the INSPIRE accreditation for the work experience programme - a proud achievement for us.

Having achieved the INSPIRE accreditation demonstrating the quality of our programme, Alex then established a relationship with Carshalton College to offer work placements to their catering students within the Croydon area. We ultimately placed seven students on a 10 week work placement programme to give them valuable skills in a working environment.

Ruth once again reviewed the success of these placements with the college lecturer, the cook managers who mentored the students and the students themselves. The observation from this review was that the programme had exceeded expectations against INSPIRE’s requirements. As a company, our goal is always to continually improve on the experience we offer, so having this outside confirmation from Springboard that we are succeeding is fantastic.

Paul Biddle - November 2013

Paul Biddle
Director Human Resources
Harrison Catering Services

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