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Hospitality Hub

Helping Londoners get jobs in hospitality including restaurants, kitchens and events.

Hospitality is one of London’s most important industries, providing jobs for 568,000 people and contributing £17 billion gross value added to the London economy. In January 2022 there were over 6,000 jobs advertised in London, offering excellent career prospects. Staff and skill shortages are present across all key sub-sectors including food and beverage, accommodation, entertainment, and tourism.

The Mayor’s Skills Academies aims to support Londoners hardest hit by the pandemic in good work sectors key to London’s recovery and long-term economic growth, as part of the London Recovery Programme. It will do this by providing financial support for the coordination and quality marking of training in London (including adult education) and the provision of bespoke support to help newly skilled people work in our priority sectors.

We provide free training opportunities and support packages to help you get a job in the hospitality sector. We do this by providing bespoke flexible learning programmes to fit your circumstances and availability. We aim to give you the confidence and skills you need to be employable within 3 to 5 weeks, and a guaranteed job interview with an employer who is accredited with the Good Work Standard. For those who need that extra support, we work with ESF Academies to ensure everyone can benefit from our Academies and sector opportunities. 

Our Mayor’s Skills Academies are all credited by The Quality Mark which identifies our academies to be excellent, industry-relevant training in the capital. The Quality Mark Statement also represents our commitment to including a combination of sector-specific questions, and wider cross-cutting issues like diversity and inclusion, sustainability, Good Work and the engagement of under-represented groups.

Hospitality Hub
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Mayor’s Skills Academies

The Mayor of London’s Skills Academies supports Londoners get into careers and the capital’s long-term economic growth as part of the Mayor’s London Recovery Plan in response to the COVID pandemic.

Westminster Kingsway College, as part of Capital City College Group (CCCG), has secured funding to run this academy.

In total, CCCG has secured £1.5 million £1.5 million to run four academy hubs to help Londoners into Good Work and reduce the employment gap between different groups of Londoners, this includes people who are newly unemployed as well as people facing inequality and who are underrepresented in each sector:

Empowering under-represented groups and low-income households

The training and employment available through the Mayor of London’s Skills Academies is tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of under-represented groups and low-income households and address the entrenched and structural barriers that prevent these groups from accessing sustainable Good Work opportunities. These groups include

  • People from Black and ethnic minority groups
  • Women  
  • Unemployed people
  • People earning below the London living wage  
  • Young people  
  • Lone parents and people with caring responsibilities 
  • Disabled people 
  • People aged 50+

Mayor’s Academy of Hospitality (MAH) Certificates are endorsed by Industry partners. Study options include:

  • Introduction to Culinary skills – This course will prepare you for work in a professional kitchen giving you the skills and understanding to safely prepare dishes in any commercial environment.
  • Introduction to Food and Beverage Service – This course will prepare you for work in Hospitality front-of-house, giving you the skills and understanding to work at many leading establishments
  • Introduction to Bakery and Pastry – This course will prepare you for work in a professional kitchen and/or bakery giving you an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to prepare some basic desserts, breads and baked goods.
  • Barista Skills
  • Mixologist 
  • Level 2 and Level 3 Food Hygiene and Safety in Catering
  • Level 2 Wine and Spirits Appreciation

All the above courses are available throughout the week and run for 3 to 5 weeks, and are available full or part-time, all year round (with some content available on Saturdays to help suit your circumstances). We have a lot of upskilling options, so please do get in touch if you have any skill or specialism queries.

Student Testimonials

“WestKing prepared me and got me ready for the industry and working in a professional environment. [They] believed in me and helped me to succeed.”

Hospitality Hub

Westminster Kingsway College

Alfie studied for three years on a full-time Professional Chef Diploma Course at Westminster Kingsway College. Alfie has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) and required support within the kitchens and classrooms during his time with us. Alfie found that multi-tasking was one of the hardest aspects for him to cope with, but with in-class support to refocus he managed to achieve a Level 3 Professional Cookery qualification.

During his time with us, Alfie was assigned a Learning Support Assistant to work alongside him during the course. The practical work was always completed by Alfie, but the support he received helped him to manage and organise his time to help him achieve his qualification.

At the end of the course, Alfie was recruited to the Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse restaurant in central London. He has just completed his probationary period and they are talking about promotion in the New Year. Additionally, Alfie was awarded the Special Achievement award at the Graduation of the class of 2021 for his resilience and achievement despite the challenges he faced.

Our Facilities and Training

The Hospitality Academy Hub has access to 15 operational kitchens and two training restaurants at our Victoria centre.

Our award-winning Hospitality and Culinary Arts department has supported more than 2,000 students in hospitality careers in the last two years. The Hospitality Academy Hub combines this experience with a range of new initiatives to provide flexible wrap-around training and professional development, including: 

  • Workshops in specific personal and employability skills, for example, resilience, customer service and communication
  • Insight sessions into roles within the hospitality industry
  • Introductory bite-sized units where you can get a first insight
  • Access to specialist training (for example, our Chefs and Bakers Academies)
  • Multiple step-on and step-off points for greater flexibility
  • Free additional courses up to Level 3 in a wide range of areas
  • Individual support to address barriers to employment
  • Personal tutors and mentoring 
  • Apprenticeships and work experience including pre-apprenticeships and pre-employment training
  • Industry engagement and career support sessions with employers
  • Hospitality and job fair attendance across London
  • Use of industry-standard equipment
  • Help with job applications, writing your CV and cover letters
  • Personalised information, advice and guidance, career advice and help with job searches
  • Tailored Sector employability workshops
  • Award in employability Level 1 and Level 2
  • Advice and guidance for self-employment

Take a look at WestKing’s centres and locations here.

Learn catering and hospitality skills with some of the biggest names in the sector

The Hospitality Academy Hub training programmes are co-designed with some of the biggest names in the catering sector to give you an accessible and direct career pathway. Your learning includes work experience with our partner employers, so you get real-life experience and skills which you can put into practice immediately.

Organisations we work with include:

Sodexo, is one of the largest catering services employers.

Fuller’s, is a leading employer creating unique premium pub and hotel experiences, award-winning ales, craft lagers/ciders, and chef-led kitchens.

The Ivy Group, is a portfolio of 14 restaurants across London.

Atul Kochhar Restaurant Group, a portfolio of 7 restaurants, with additional openings announced.

CH&CO, is a collection of specialist businesses and market-leading brands in the catering and hospitality sector.

Lexington, is a leading hospitality and catering provider with a variety of cafes and restaurants in their portfolio.

The Craft Guild of Chefs, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, The Worshipful Company of Cooks, the Institute of Hospitality, and UK Hospitality, represent a plethora of employers in the hospitality industry. We work with them to shape the skills and employment provision in line with short, medium, and long-term industry needs to maximise career opportunities and make the hospitality sector more inclusive. 

The Central District Alliance (CDA) Business Improvement District (BID), is the collective voice of over 400 enterprises in Camden’s Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles and Islington’s Farringdon and Clerkenwell neighbourhoods. They represent a highly diversified commercial and cultural base of creative, educational, legal, medical, professional, scientific, and technological brands of global significance – generating a contribution to London’s GVA second only to the city. One of the BID’s core priorities is addressing the economic recovery of the Capital, in particular focusing on the hospitality and digital industry and creating opportunities for both the businesses and communities within the district to thrive.

The Craft Guild of Chefs, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, the Worshipful Company of Cooks, the Institute of Hospitality, and UK Hospitality – represent a plethora of employers in the hospitality industry. We work with them to shape the skills and employment provision in line with short, medium, and long-term industry needs to maximise career opportunities and make the hospitality sector more inclusive.

We are looking for employer partners to offer interview/trial days to our graduates of these programmes. If you are interested in taking part or would like to speak to us about a bespoke upskilling short course for your back-of-house or front-of-house team, then please register your details in the form below or email

How to Apply

We have a wide range of short courses that are available as part of our Hospitality Academy. If you are interested in training with us, please fill in your details on the form below and one of our team members will get in contact with you to discuss your options and help you apply.

Courses include:

  • Mayors Academy of Hospitality – Certificate in Bakery and Pastry
  • Mayors Academy of Hospitality – Introduction to Culinary Skills
  • Mayors Academy of Hospitality – Introduction to Food and Beverage Service

See our full list of Hospitality Skills Academy courses here. If you are unsure of which study path to take, check out our level equivalence table.

Interested in joining our Hospitality Academy Hub? Contact us by filling in the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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