For Grwp Llandrillo-Menai second year software development students Matthew Williams, 17, and Andre Mansley, 18, are building the Go North Wales Tourism & Hospitality Academy’s website in their spare time.
They have already completed the first phase, to develop the sign-up portal so membership recruitment can begin.
And together with fellow Llandrillo-Menai students, Milly Byrne, a tourism and travel undergraduate, and Regan Jones, an FDA culinary arts student, they joined the academy on its launch day.
Launched by North Wales Tourism in partnership with local universities and colleges, the academy will bring together for the first time, students, hospitality employees, employers and colleges across the region.
The Go North Wales Tourism & Hospitality Academy aims to take action at a regional level to raise tourism as a career choice, and help people connect to employers who may offer them work.
By helping to develop the next generation of employees and leaders, the academy also aims to help to stave off predicted future staff shortages across the industry.
Membership is free for everyone who signs up within the first 18 months, thanks to sponsorship from North Wales’ biggest food wholesaler, Harlech Foodservice.
During its first year, the virtual academy will launch a web portal containing resources such as work placement and volunteering opportunities.
Members will also get access to free workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, networking events and regular newsletters.
Already, the academy’s membership includes supply chain representatives. For its web portal is being developed by two second-year IT students at Coleg Llandrillo Menai, in their spare time.
Matthew said: “This is a great opportunity. It’s the first big site we’ve developed. I’m enjoying challenging myself and working on new things I haven’t done before. We’re having to think of different and better ways to do things. ”
Andre said: “We’ve been working evenings and both days at weekends. It’s been challenging and we are learning all the time. We’ve been hitting the deadlines to deliver this first phase. It’s a great experience.”
Other students to sign up on launch day were: Claire Brooks and Emily Cole, who are both studying for a degree in business with a hospitality and tourism specialism at Glyndwr University; and Coleg Cambria BTec travel & tourism diploma students, Darcey Davies-Williams, and Martha Hughes.
Academy manager Pam Everley said: “Their contribution links in well with the purpose of the academy, which is to encourage membership among the hospitality and tourism supply chain, whether that be IT, finance, engineering, or marketing.”
Academy manager Pam Everley said: “Membership is available to anyone who may have an interest in tourism. It’s not just for students. I also hope businesses will encourage their employees to be part of it as it will help people working across the sector to connect with training courses and developments in the region. It’s for the entire tourism community.
“Offers of support from businesses are gratefully received and in return they have direct access to the next generation of tourism professionals.”
Gill Blease, marketing manager of Harlech Foodservice, said: “Lots of our customers in tourism and hospitality tell us they struggle to get enough chefs and waiting on staff locally.
“So we’re pleased and excited to be helping the Hospitality Academy to encourage young people to join the industry.
“We have three chefs in our development kitchens and we are looking forward to helping the academy where we can with any training and demonstrations in our head office and at the colleges.
“We are looking forward to working closely with the academy over the coming year and see how it progresses and grows.”
To sign up, visit www gonorthwales.academy
"Membership is available to anyone who may have an interest in tourism.Its not just for students."
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