Youngsters serving up a treat thanks to new college partnership
Young adults aged between 14 and 18 are being given an early taste of the catering industry thanks to Villa's new partnership with an Aston-based studio college.
Kajans Hospitality and Catering Studio College offers students a new and inspiring approach to learning, by allowing them to be taught in a working environment.
Twenty-six students began work at Villa Park this week in the club's huge catering and hospitality operation.
This includes a group of 11 students aged 16 to 18-year-olds who will gain 16 hours per week of paid employment, working either in the club's kitchens or front-of-house in the kiosks, bars and restaurants.
In addition, fifteen Year 10 students - aged 14 and 15 - will spend three hours per week on work experience.
While Kajans continue to help the students gain academic qualifications, Villa have agreed to become one of the college's employment partners along with retail giant Marks and Spencer.
"As one of the largest employers in the Aston area we are pleased to support Kajans Hospitality and Catering Studio College in giving students jobs and employment experiences that will lead to their future employment," said Villa's executive chef Peter Reed.
"We've got lots of departments here that can deliver a quality level of experience.
"I've been very impressed with the calibre and the maturity of the students.
"There has been no nervousness. They've just got straight down to business."
The partnership with Kajans is a further example of Villa's commitment to giving local youngsters a foothold in the catering and hospitality business.
Restaurant VMF - currently Birmingham's No.1 ranked eatery on Trip Advisor - has just taken on another six apprentices.
The training restaurant has produced a raft of success stories since opening its doors in 2010.
As well as receiving a host of awards and rave reviews, a number of apprentices have gone on to find employment either at Villa Park or elsewhere in the food industry.
It is hoped that students from the Kajans project can follow in their footsteps.