Sunderland College students are set to cook up a storm at North East Skills, a careers event for young people across the North East.
The cream of the crop of the our catering students are taking part in a Saturday Kitchen-style cook off, showcasing their culinary skills in a competition to make the fastest omelette – part of a demonstration to show students the range of vocational and A-Level studies on offer at the College.
Two students, Elliot Welsh, 17, and Kelsey Stephenson, 17, from the Hylton campus are taking part in the cook off, and hope to not only inspire other young people from the area to take up culinary courses, but to also seek out potential employment opportunities and advice.
This year, there will be over 50 organisations from a range of organisations attending North East Skills, which started yesterday Tuesday, September 24 and closes Wednesday, September 26 at the Metro Radio Arena. The event allows education providers to showcase their offerings, with stalls and performance to give attendees a taste of what they can expect if they study there.
Keith Curtis, lecturer in catering and hospitality, said that the students are looking forward to the event, which will give them the chance to show off their skills while attracting more young people to study at Sunderland College.
He said: “Two of the students I currently teach, are taking part in a cook off this year. It is inspired by ITV’s Saturday Kitchen, where chefs on the show compete to see who can make an omelette in the fastest time. There will be some heat in kitchen – the students are competitive when it comes to cooking.
“The event gives young people an opportunity to meet potential employers, college and training organisations face to face, to get expert help and advice to help to make their career choices. It gives the young adults an opportunity to talk to people in real jobs, they can find out first-hand what is involved in the career they want to pursue.”
Elliot and Kelsey, who are currently studying towards a VRQ Diploma Level 2 in Professional Cookery, are looking forward to the cooking challenge and have been putting some practice in at home.
Elliot said: “I am excited to take part in the cooking task. I’m really competitive so I have attempted the omelette challenge at home a few times now. Hopefully the practice will be worth it and I will beat off the competition.
“I am really enjoying the course and love to cook. My friends and family are always asking me to prepare meals for them or to give them some tips. I am looking forward to going to the event to pick up some tips myself from other people who are working in the food industry.”
A dance troop comprising of twenty of our students will be putting their best foot forward at the event as they put on a performance for visitors and fellow students.
The students, who are currently studying towards BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dance, have been choreographing routines for the last couple of weeks and are delighted to be able to showcase their collective talents.
Adam Burnikell, 16, from Grangetown, Sunderland, said: “It is great to be able to perform at such a popular event, although I am slightly nervous. For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed dancing, and the course at has made me love dance even more. It will be great to attend the event and to be able to get some advice about careers and higher education options.”
Emma Kernohan, dance lecturer, has been working with the students to perfect their routines and encourage them ahead of the event.
She said: “The students, who are a mixture of both first and second year learners, have done a great job choreographing such an original routine. The year one group have only been at the college for two weeks but they are already showing great promise. Despite it all being new to them they have produced a fantastic piece and are really keen to show off all they have learned so far.
“I’m so proud of all of everyone taking part, they have been working on different styles including contemporary and commercial dance and even some modern ballet. I’m sure the visitors will be wowed at their performances.”
Schools and colleges from around the region are organising group visits for their students during the daytime opening and young people are advised to check with their careers teacher or form tutor for transport information. Young people can also visit with friends and family at the evening opening on Tuesday, September 24 between 5pm-7pm.