Title Vocational Learning for Sustainable Catering Systems
Project Number 2012-1-SE1-LEO05-11673
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Training opportunities for catering professionals in the workplace are small. There is a need for continual competency development in public kitchens, as demands from policies, employers and the job market change requiring catering professionals to develop new skills and master new tasks. The main aim of Vocational Learning for Sustainable Catering Systems (VoLCS) is to establish a system of cooperation between different partners involved in public sector catering, so they can learn from each other and create universal tools of best practice that can be applied to make vocational training as relevant as possible for the catering staff, including such elements as nutrition and sustainability. The partners in England, Denmark, Italy and Sweden are all experts in their field. The project will produce as a toolbox of best practice that the partners can use to inspire and inject new ideas in the training offered to catering staff.
This project focused on the quality and availability of vocational training and competency development for catering staff providing food for the public sector in 4 European countries. Its main aim to establish a system of cooperation between the different partners involved in catering for the public sector, so that they can learn from each other and create universal tools of best practice. This can be applied to make vocational training as relevant as possible for the catering staff, including such elements as nutrition and sustainability and the job market. It is important to develop the link between vocational training that is available and the actual reality of the work environment and the European job market. By listening to personnel and incorporating the best practices from the partner countries, a stronger connection will be made between the skills that are needed in the workplace and the skills that are available in vocational education.
Catering staff providing food to the public sector have to fulfil many demands. The food should be of good quality, nutritious and attractive to children, as well as being within a budget. Many of those employed within school kitchens have a low level of education and opportunities for training and competence development are small. All of the core partners are at the forefront in working to improve the sustainability of food in their country and this project will allow them to gain valuable inspiration and input into their work.
The target audience for the project includes policy makers, managers of schools and kitchens, catering staff, as well as educators and trainers working with catering personnel. In each of the four countries the immediate focus is on local actors, but dissemination of results will lead to the project having a larger impact across Europe and informing policy makers and other actors of the results of the project.
There will be a multiple knowledge transfer between the partners as each trade their expertise and experience in competency development amongst catering staff. Each of the partners will contribute with their skills and knowledge of training courses and the different subject areas that are relevant for improving the catering staff’s competency level. This knowledge transfer will contribute to an improved sustainability of meals in the public sector, as well as a more competent and skilled work force.
The overriding aim of this project was to increase the level of competence of catering staff preparing food for the public sector, making the staff more attractive to the job market. One way of reaching this aim was to establish a system of cooperation between the different partners so that they can learn from each other and create universal tools of best practice that can be applied to make their vocational training as relevant as possible for the catering staff and the job market. The primary target group for the project's results was trainers and educators as well as policy makers; the secondary target group was catering professionals and their managers who will be using the courses that the educators will be constructing using the tool box. A tool box of best practice with guidelines for their use has been created at the end of the project. In order to reach the objective, a number of tasks were completed.
1) A detailed needs analysis needs to be conducted in terms of both the needs of the local catering staff and the needs of their employers.
2) The current best practice that is in place and available to the local catering staff will be assessed.
3) An amalgamation of the findings from the needs analysis and state of the art.
Once these two tasks have been completed, a comparison of the different needs and practices can be conducted and common tool box containing the most relevant elements of best practice can be constructed. This will be then tested by returning to catering staff and testing the developed training course modules.
The work will be divided up into eight work packages; three administrative packages and five action packages. Each of the core partners will be responsible for at least one work package, which will entail managing one or more meetings and some organisational responsibility. The project ran for 2 years, starting in October 2012. The actual level of activity varies in the work packages, which are summarised below:
1) Project management – this will be run by the City of Malmö as lead partner in the project. It runs the entire length of the project and covers all the management and administrative issues relevant to the effective running of the project.
2) State of the art – here a survey will be conducted in order to ascertain the current situation in vocational training for local catering staff, both available courses and the situation in terms of policy and legislation.
3) Needs Analysis – this will be conducted from two directions, finding out what employers and policy makers require of the local catering staff and what do staff feel that they need to meet these requirements.
4) Constructing the tool box – using the information gathered in the first two sub packages; a SWOT analysis will be conducted to sort the results from the partners and these results will be prioritised to build the best modules to include in the training courses.
5) Verification/testing the tool box – we will be returning to the local catering staff with the provisional tool box to verify/test the developed training course modules.
6) Modification and refinement – changes and modifications produced as a result of the verification process.
7) Dissemination – the dissemination plan has been written by the City of Malmö’s communication officer in cooperation with the partners. Each core partner has a responsibility in this work package to ensure that the internal and external communication of the project occurs.
8) Evaluation – this will be managed by Aalborg University (AAU), with much of the evaluation being conducted by an external evaluator in order to ensure objectivity and transparency.
Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security
Accommodation and Food Service Activities
material for open learning
open and distance learning
program or curricula
Product information The project is now complete. We held five project meetings in Malmö, Rome, Bristol,Copenhagen and Rome again. We created a state of the art report covering the current situation for education and training opportunities for catering staff. We conducted a needs analysis. We gathered a list of best practice from all partners, and compared this list with the results from an analysis of state of the art and needs analysis reports. We worked together to create a list of prioritised modules, then tested different examples of best practice. As a result of all this work we created a tool box of best practice in all four languages of the consortium. The report is available on the project's homepage. We completed the Project on time with no delay.