Providing hospitality training since 1962
Lakefield as we know it now, began its programmes in 1966, when its current premises were opened by HRH The Queen Mother in November of that year. Prior to that, for four years, it had already been functioning from provisional premises, known as The Cottage, with small groups of trainees.
When Lakefield first began it was a “Housecraft and Educational Centre”. It aimed at preparing students for work in the institutional as well as domestic environment. From the outset, its training programme offered a comprehensive plan of studies devised around practical training in the catering and housekeeping departments of the Hall of Residence to which it was and still is attached. By the end of their stay, students in Lakefield Housecraft and Educational Centre left with nationally accredited qualifications in Housecraft, Institutional Cookery, plus a range of complementary certificates.
In the 1980’s, as the Hospitality Industry in the UK gained momentum, and both the job market and further education underwent major changes, Lakefield registered under City and Guilds to offer industry specific qualifications, becoming known as “Lakefield Catering and Educational Centre”. The hospitality based awards such as City and Guilds 706/1, 706/2 allowed the students to gain nationally recognised qualification and compete in a professional field that was beginning to open up to more women.
In the early 1990’s, when National Vocational Qualifications were introduced in the UK, the Hospitality industry was one of the first areas to adopt them. From 1992 onwards Lakefield has been renowned for its high level of excellence in NVQ training and assessment, helping pilot new schemes, and its staff having active involvement in revising and updating national qualification standards.
In 1994 Lakefield closed down for refurbishment of its 1960’s facilities. It celebrated its re-opening in 1995 by inviting HRH the Duchess of Kent, who toured its state-of-the-art training facilities, and met and talked with tutors, parents and trainees.
Since then, Lakefield has continued to flourish, widening its range of qualifications, attracting high calibre students, and becoming a name in Hospitality training.
Some of its students’ and staff’s most recent achievements include a silver medal in the 2004 Junior Pastry Chef Competition at the Birmingham Food and Drink Exhibition; the Compass Junior Chef of the Year Competition in 2005; and a City & Guilds Gold Medal of Excellence in Training and Lecturing for Hospitality Lecturer. In 2014 Lakefield was presented with the 2013/14 College Certificate by the Craft Guild of Chefs for the furtherance of excellence in Catering Education and supporting the promotion of the aims of the Guild.
Lakefield continues to keep abreast of changes in employment and training to provide an up to date and comprehensive range of training opportunities, to meet today’s needs.