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5 October 2022

Food and hospitality skill competitions showcase the sector’s infinite potential

Hotel Reception, Bakery, Pâtisserie and Confectionery, Cooking, and Restaurant Service take place this month in different locations across Switzerland as part of WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition.

Launching the sector of Social and Personal Services at WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition is Hotel Reception from 6 to 9 October held at Casino Barrière Montreux, Montreux, Switzerland.

Overlooking Lake Geneva, the Hotel & Gastro formation, Switzerland – in charge of organizing the event – has turned the entire top floor of the casino into the Competition Area, comprising of two individual hotel reception desks including waiting areas, a lobby, and a real hotel room.

Jordan Kestle, Managing Director, Professional Association of Hotel Administration & Management said: “As we are dealing with a very large open space, we had to think about how to divide everything to create a real-life hotel setting while still ensuring that there is enough space for plenty of visitors to come and watch the Competition.”

Tourism is one of Switzerland’s most important economic sectors, employing around 4% of the working population. Although directly affected by the pandemic, corporate travel and the tourism industry are expanding as a result of globalization, social and demographic change, and the evolution of transport.

During October, the country will host other competitions related to the hospitality and food industries: Bakery, Pâtisserie and Confectionery, Cooking, and Restaurant Service.

Mr Kestle also highlights the benefits for his sector to host the competition: “As the largest association for hospitality professionals in Switzerland, our main goal is to motivate upcoming talents to achieve their goals and fulfil their ambitions in the industry. Hosting the competition is an excellent way to send out a strong message to the public that working in the hospitality industry is full of action and lots of fun!”

Travel and tourism, therefore, plays an important role in social and economic growth, not only in Switzerland, but throughout the world. The scope for promotion and mobility for Hotel Receptionists is great, as this is a truly international and global occupation in an open and fluid part of the service sector.

Similar opportunities arise for experts in the culinary arts. With the globalization of cuisine, chefs can work all over the world. Talented chefs are always in demand and have opportunities to travel and work in some of the most interesting and exciting international destinations.

Shae White, WorldSkills Champion Trust Regional representative for Americas, who competed in Cooking at WorldSkills Kazan 2019 says the possibilities within the industry are infinite.

“The growth of this industry will depend on how far the upcoming generations are willing to push the envelope to succeed. The avenues of growth WorldSkills provides are not only skills-based but life-based,” says Shae, adding that “cooking has been mobile for quite some time. We have physical restaurants, food trucks, carts, street vendors… You truly can provide this service anywhere you choose.”

The young chef will be supporting Competitors at Cooking and Restaurant Service, which is taking place 23 to 26 October 2022 alongside Zagg, the Swiss trade fair for hospitality, hotel, and catering industries, in Lucerne.

Both Bakers and Pâtissiers/Confectioners require a high degree of specialist knowledge and skill, a fact that the Richemont Center for Excellence, Lucerne, Switzerland – where both skills competitions will be held – knows well.

“The school is a monument in our industry and the set-up in relation to infrastructure is at the highest level. The Competitors will be able to demonstrate their skills and benefit from what I would describe as the crème de la crème facilities in our industry,” says Herve Boutin, Skill Competition Manager, Pâtisserie and Confectionery.

As the National Training and Further Education Centre of the Swiss Association of Master Bakers and Confectioners, Richemont offer a wide variety of courses at different levels — from basic level, to specialization, dual education, or master craftsman courses. The school is also the national training campus for the WorldSkills Competitors in these two skills.

“Through several years of participation in WorldSkills, be it with our Competitors, Experts, or Skills Competition Managers, we have a certain experience of what is required for such a competition. With the support of partners for raw material and equipment manufacturers, we were able to set up the necessary workstations for all Competitors and thus lay the foundation for a fair competition,” says Reto Fries, Director of the school.

Swiss venues

Skill competitions are taking place in these venues in Switzerland as part of WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition.