Lindley Venue Catering teams up with Galpharm Stadium & Kirklees College in joint hospitality training venture

Lindley Venue Catering, which manages the catering services at The Galpharm Stadium is embarking on an innovative reciprocal education and training programme with the venue and Kirklees College.

The initiative will provide students in Kirklees College’s Catering, Travel & Tourism departments with an opportunity to gain hands on experience working as part of the Lindley Venue Catering team in match-day, conference, banqueting and event hospitality environments at The Galpharm Stadium, both through work experience placements as well as paid temporary employment.

As part of the venture, Lindley Venue Catering – the specialist sports stadia catering division of The Lindley Group - also plans to work with the Kirklees College to provide selected students with a personal development training programme leading, on completion of their studies, to potential offers of full-time permanent positions within The Lindley Group's UK-wide operation.

Under the reciprocal arrangement, Kirklees College will provide Lindley Venue Catering employees working at The Galpharm Stadium the opportunity to study for formal qualifications and the college will also work with The Lindley Group to develop apprenticeship schemes.

Adam Woods, a commis chef at The Galpharm Stadium, and James Birch, Lindley Venue Catering’s Bar Manager at the Huddersfield venue, will be among the first employees to benefit from the initiative. Woods will be attending Kirklees College on a Hospitality Course, while Birch has enrolled for an NVQ Management Level 3 training course.

Simon Pile, Lindley Venue Catering’s General Manager at The Galpharm Stadium, attended Kirklees College to outline the new initiative in a presentation to 120 Catering, Travel & Tourism Students who were then invited to attend an Open Evening at The Galpharm Stadium. Students can opt for a ‘preferred’ department for their work experience/part-time temporary employment enabling them to choose from Hospitality Suites, Boxes or match-day Retail Catering.

Adam Elliott, CEO of

“As well as providing students with an opportunity to gain practical experience and try their hand at a variety of jobs within the different aspects of an hospitality environment at a very early stage in their career, it also gives our employees the chance to gain formal academic qualifications enabling them to fast-track their career prospects. And, from a commercial perspective, it provides Lindley Venue Catering and The Galpharm Stadium with a team of well-trained, regular, temporary staff while providing students with an extra source of income.”

Gareth Davies, Managing Director of Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd, added: “The Galpharm Stadium was designed as a community, sports, leisure and entertainment complex, which plays an integral role rooted within the local community as well as being a commercial venture and we place a great deal of focus on exploring new opportunities which benefit and support the local community.

“The Lindley Venue Catering project with Kirklees College is a perfect embodiment of our philosophy of opening up access to the facilities we have here and making the venue an integral part of the lives of local people.”

Peter McCann, Kirklees College’s Principal, concludes: “The facilities and sheer variety of events staged at The Galpharm Stadium provide tremendous scope for our students to get a working knowledge of the myriad of different operational aspects within the hospitality business, from running match-day catering services on the public concourse to fine dining in the hospitality suites, and from high volume events such as pop concerts to intimate celebrations such as weddings/wedding receptions.

“They will be guided by and gain their experience under the expert tutelage of the team from Lindley Venue Catering, and we are equally delighted to welcome members of the Lindley team to the college to further their education in the hospitality industry.”

Lindley Venue Catering was awarded the five-year, £10.3 million contract to manage all aspects of the match-day and non-match-day catering services at West Yorkshire’s, 51-acre Galpharm Stadium complex in July 2011. A key part of the caterer’s remit is to take a leading role in promoting and expanding usage of the multi-function site which was established in 1991.

The former RIBA Building Award of the Year winning site also incorporates a range of facilities including: a purpose-built Business & Conference Centre; a 30-bay golf driving range, with professional teaching facilities and a 1,500 sq ft Golf Superstore; a 2,000-seat nine screen cinema; a Community Health & Leisure Pod; along with associated bar/restaurant/café facilities. It also holds a civil wedding licence.

Outside the football and rugby seasons, The Galpharm Stadium, which is managed and operated by Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd, can be converted to a concert arena accommodating up to 40,000 concert goers, and a number of high profile rock and pop names have played at the venue including Elton John, REM, The Eagles, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams and Girls Aloud.

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