Learners from Premiership Rugby’s award-winning HITZ programme are serving up a real treat this month across the country as part of a unique ‘MasterChef’ experience.
Throughout March, students from each of the 13 Premiership Rugby League professional member clubs will get the opportunity to visit a local Kew Green Hotel for a careers event and cooking challenge.
Students will receive a tour of the hotel and meet the leadership team and hotel staff to find out more about the different employment opportunities available to them within hospitality.
They will then be shown by the head chef how to make a healthy budget meal, before being invited to reinvent them and enter a national competition with all 13 HITZ clubs.
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And Natasha Nagra, Talent Resourcing Manager at Kew Green Hotels, hopes the partnership with the HITZ programme will inspire the learners to think about hospitality as a future career.
“The MasterChef event came from the idea that we wanted to create something that would enable us to teach the students how to create a healthy meal under £5,” she said.
“We wanted to have a visual competition and we’re really excited about being able to offer the winner and potential some of the runners-up apprenticeship programmes.
“We’re really proud to work with the HITZ programme as it gives us an opportunity to work with a really diverse group of young people.
“Hopefully we can offer them and opportunity to feel inspired about working in hospitality and hopefully, within time, work within our hotels.”
The kitchen teams will judge the meals based on taste and appearance, with the winner receiving a £20 Amazon voucher before going on to compete against the rest of the HITZ club winners.
Learners from Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Harlequins, London Irish, Newcastle, Wasps, Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors have already taken part in the MasterChef challenge at their local hotel.
But there are still events to come for HITZ students from Saracens, Northampton Saints, Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers throughout the rest of this month.
HITZ uses rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to get young people back into education, training, apprenticeships and/or employment.
Funded by partners Land Rover, Comic Relief and Wooden Spoon, HITZ is targeted at 16-18-year olds to improve their functional maths and English, as well as develop valuable life skills.
HITZ National Programme Manager Kelly Dummer believes the partnership with Kew Green will not just spark an initial interest in a career in hospitality, but also provide further work experience opportunities to current and future learners.
“The relationship with Kew Green started last year when the London Irish HITZ programme worked with their local Holiday Inn in Shepperton,” she said.
“It was a really successful programme, the young people learned so much from it an a few people even got jobs at the end of it and one young person went into a chef apprenticeship.
“They are doing exceptionally well so we just wanted to work with them to broaden the opportunity and to include as many Premiership Rugby club and HITZ young people as we could.”
The national competition will be based on appearance only and judged via twitter and Instagram.