Oh to be a scholar: Scholarships in Hospitality

When people think of scholarships, many will think straight of academic universities, but this is not necessarily the case for the hospitality industry. If anything, scholarships are given out to individuals for work experience, training bursaries or competitions that have been sponsored by large corporations. Therefore, if you are trying to progress your career pathway by working voluntarily, it may be worth seeing what scholarships are available to you.

Rolling in it

The main draw from gaining a scholarship will be that your training fees will all be paid for. This may also include any fees that a college or university asks for, and may even extend to living costs too. What makes this cash great is that you also do not need to pay it back.

Scholarships can be found by doing a bit of research. Look out for industry announcements and do some reading on college/university websites. This is particularly important as you will be dealing with deadlines to get your applications in. Note that for some scholarships, you may have to make a presentation, reveal your qualifications, display hospitality work in some way, provide references, or even win a competition in service or cooking.

Beyond the money

Scholarships should not be seen as simple financial aid or as equivalent to an apprenticeship. Beyond the money you will receive, you should consider how valuable a scholarship will look on your CV or future job applications. Essentially, a company out there has looked at you as a big dog, and that is why you should always try and shoehorn it in whenever possible.

Furthermore, scholarships will often host networking events that will enable you to mingle with those who matter. For example, the St Julian Scholars is an exclusive club for those who have been on the Master Innholders Scholarship. Lah-dee-dah indeed.

Scholarship examples

Many universities across the UK will offer restaurant and chef scholarships, many of which will be on a one-week per month basis over two years. The training, that usually costs around the £1,500 mark, will all be paid for.

A very popular scholarship is the Academy of Culinary Arts Specialised Chefs’ Scholarship, which is essentially an advanced apprenticeship, this helps would-be chefs aged between 16 and 19 to achieve NVQ Level 3. Travelling costs, accommodation and fees are all covered. Similarly, the Acorn Scholarship is for those aged under 30, and the winners will receive a £2,000 bursary to use for professional development and £1,500 worth of coaching sessions.

For chefs, the Roux Scholarship looks at those aged between 22 and 30. Winners will be trained through a leading chef at a three Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe for three months.

It is always worth applying for a scholarship because you never know when a company might actually snap you up. Acting as a perfect gateway into the industry and a way to fund all those important qualifications, scholarships will undoubtedly be a pathway to future success.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hospitality jobs.