At the University of Wolverhampton, it’s not just the students who are committed to their studies. The university’s catering team, which works across four campuses in three counties and caters to a diverse array of tastes and needs, has devoted itself to making the university catering service the best it can possibly be.
Amanda Shipley, Catering & Retail Operations Manager at The University of Wolverhampton, is the person responsible for leading this charge, believing that the university’s food offering is an important factor in the success of the university as whole. “The university market has become a very competitive place and the catering team recognises that we can play a part in a student’s decision to come here. We want the university to succeed and everything that we do to improve the standard of our food and the quality of our service helps that” said Amanda.
From gaining food accreditations for only using free-range eggs and encouraging healthy eating, to hiring a graduate intern who ‘speaks the language’ of social media and can help promote the catering service to students and staff online, Amanda and her team are constantly on the look-out for ways to keep on top of their game.
“One of the best things that we’ve done in recent times is organise training through The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology (SOFHT) for myself and my deputy, Stuart Rutty” said Amanda. “We felt that the catering team was making good strides and the best way to continue with that momentum would be to make sure that we were properly qualified to offer information and advice to the managers and staff that work for us.”
The catering team at The University of Wolverhampton consists of 98 regular staff as well as employing a number of students on a causal basis, so keeping on top of managerial skills and planning is essential to the mammoth task of feeding a student body of approximately 23,000.
“The Level 4 training course from SOFHT adds real value to our knowledge base, allowing us to fit senior level food safety and hygiene training around our everyday work. We’re not just meeting legislative requirements but surpassing them, reviewing our staff training plans, assisting in the design and planning of new eating spaces, and keeping up to date with the latest EHO trends” said Amanda.
The advantage of SOFHT’s Level 4 Food Safety training course is that it is run in a carousel format so attendants can ‘hop off and on’ the course, fitting it around their work commitments instead of needing to take consecutive days away from the business. As Amanda said, “You do have to be disciplined to keep up with the coursework between sessions, but I actually found that this was a much more effective way for me to learn and as I could put the things I was learning into practice as I went along.”
The SOFHT course was designed in response to industry needs for a high level practical qualification with external accreditation; it’s perfect for food managers, production managers, area managers, hygiene auditors as well as those working at a senior level in the foodservice industry.
For more information on SOFHT’s Level 4 Food Safety course and other training events, go to www.sofht.co.uk.