Education sector launches new initiative that connects learners with Northern Ireland’s business community

Posted By:
Belfast Metropolitan College

25th Apr 2022

All the hard work in the back of house was led by Chef Lecturer Andrew Wasson, assisted by his students studying Level 2 & 3 Professional Cookery and Level 3 Bakery.

The six FE colleges and University of Ulster have developed a collaborative relationship with the Royal Navy, led by the Hospitality & Tourism Curriculum Hub. The aim of the initiative is to develop learner skills working alongside Royal Navy staff in Professional Cookery and Food Service.

This is the first of several planned events that will introduce learners to potential careers and will connect the Northern Ireland business community who have a vested interest in the development of the next generation.

It also explored the Royal Navy, as one of the leading UK apprenticeship employers, which is working closely with the Further and Higher Education sector to encourage student development.

Future events planned over the next year include:

  • Royal Navy Cook & Serve Competition
  • Cookery demonstrations by Royal Navy Chefs
  • Royal Navy ship visits when in dock
  • Experience of field catering working alongside Royal Navy Chefs.

Fiona Dempsey, Head of Belfast Business School said, “We were delighted to host the Royal Navy and sector representatives from the hospitality industry across Northern Ireland. This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the skills of both students and naval officers working collaboratively to produce and serve culinary excellence.”

Rear Admiral Jude Terry OBE, Royal Navy confirmed: “As a Logistics Officer it was great to be able to see the Royal Navy and Belfast Met College Catering teams working closely together to showcase their talent in cooking fabulous dishes which demonstrated local produce.

“Events like these are really important for fostering professional and personal relationships and working across the academic, Service and local community; learning best practice from each other and sharing experiences. I hope it is the beginning of a long-term relationship between the Royal Navy, the Further and Higher Education sector and the wider Northern Irish community.”

For more information about the Hospitality and Tourism Hub contact Mark Rice Hospitality and Tourism Hub Co-ordinator, Email:

Pictured (L-R): Principal and Chief Executive at Belfast Met, Louise Warde Hunter; Lord Lieutenant  for the  County Borough of Belfast, Mrs Fionnuala Jay O’Boyle CBE with her cadet Emily Louise Grey; Rear Admiral Jude Terry OBE.