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Catering Craft Courses

Volume 114: debated on Thursday 23 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will make a statement on the standard of the catering craft courses in those universities and colleges which undertake such courses;(2) if he has any plans to improve craft training in hotel and catering courses in those universities and colleges which organise craft training courses; and if he will make a statement.

Hotel and catering courses at craft level are part of the non-advanced further education provision and are not offered in universities. The standard of courses provided in colleges in England and Wales as described in the report of the survey carried out by Her Majesty's Inspectorate, "NAFE in practice", published on 8 April 1987 which includes a section on hotel and catering courses. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library.The report says that NAFE has responded well to the needs of the hotel and catering and baking industry by providing a wide range of appropriate vocational courses all of which offer nationally recognised qualifications. Over 84 per cent. of the classes seen in the 34 colleges included in the survey were satisfactory, including 24 per cent. which were good. Students achieved particularly good standards in practical work.The Department has no specific proposals for improvements in craft training in hotel and catering although, as with other craft courses, we are concerned that standards should not only be maintained but raised where possible.Last year the NAB recommended and my right hon. Friend accepted an increase of 359 places on advanced hotel and catering courses. This represented an increase of 16 per cent., the greatest planned increase in any academic area for 1987–88.