Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham catering academy opens

A catering academy has opened in Birmingham after securing funding approval from the Department for Education (DfE).

The Kajans Hospitality and Catering Studio College in Aston will specialise in Caribbean cooking.

Principal James Davis said the specialism reflected the college's strong community roots.

On Wednesday, 72 students were enrolled, just two more than the minimum set by the DfE.

Eventually it hopes to target up to 300 14 to 19-year-olds, offering traditional academic subjects alongside vocational courses, focusing on the different aspects of the hospitality industry.

Mr Davis said they would also spend time working in restaurants and other establishments to learn the trade and prepare them for the world of work.

He said he hoped the students would "develop skills for life" and that many would go on to university or start their own businesses.

The project has been pioneered by the Kajans educational trust, which has spent the last 18 months securing funding.

It was rubber-stamped by Education Secretary Michael Gove in August.

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