A taste of success

PUPILS from across East Renfrewshire who are looking to be the next Gordon Ramsay (without the swearing hopefully) will get the chance to show their worth later this month.

For selected S5 and S6 youngsters on their schools’ Vocational Programme will lay on a three-course feast at a special banquet for VIPs.

The students are all part of the programme’s Culinary Arts course and part of the course entails devising, cooking and presenting Michelin star-quality dishes to a host of invited guests.

The evening will be held at St Mirren Football Club on March 20 and will prove the biggest challenge – and, of course, highlight – for the dozen teens on the course.

Culinary Arts is just one of the 24 courses on offer on the ever-growing Vocational Programme – next year there will be 29 different courses.

Pupils are urged to apply for one of the courses now as they offer students the opportunity to learn new skills away from the classroom.

This can set them up to go on to work, training, further or higher education.

The programme works with partners, including colleges, universities and employers, to provide senior pupils with the chance to gain qualifications in subjects as diverse as construction and photography and pupils who opt for the programme can swap school for one of these institutions for a number of hours each week.

Councillor Paul O’Kane, vice convener of education and equalities, said: “The Vocational Programme has expanded considerably in recent years and offers a wide range of high-quality opportunities to our senior pupils.

“We have an excellent record in achieving positive destinations for the vast majority of young people on leaving school and the programme plays a huge part in that success.

“It’s a great chance to have a quality training experience and gain skills and experiences for future training or employment.

“And at the Culinary Arts Banquet the skills that some of pupils have learned will be shown off in style – I’m sure everyone will be very impressed with the fantastic progress they’ve made.”