Pupils get their first taste of business in Dragons Den-style pitch
Adam Parzniewski, head chef of Malmaison Hotel Aberdeen with S2 pupils from Hazlehead Academy

Adam Parzniewski, head chef of Malmaison Hotel Aberdeen with S2 pupils from Hazlehead Academy

Second year students from Hazlehead Academy took their first step into the business world on Wednesday, February 6 when they pitched their ideas for an Aberdeen hotel’s 10-year birthday celebrations to a panel of ‘Dragons’.

Around 60 pupils attended Malmaison on Queen’s Road as part of a new flagship partnership established between the business and the city school, with support from Developing the Young Workforce North East Scotland. It marks the 28th such partnership between businesses in the city region and local schools.

The youngsters took part in a series of workshops with hotel staff looking at event planning, marketing and PR and hospitality, as well as food and drink sessions with the head chef and bar staff. Armed with an understanding of the hotel’s inner workings, they were then tasked with coming up with a plan to help Malmaison celebrate its 10th anniversary in Aberdeen, pitching their ideas to a panel of ‘Dragon’s’.

The team with the winning pitch won the chance to work with the hotel to plan and host the real launch event.

Morag Stark, general manager at Malmaison, said: “We are delighted to enter into a flagship partnership with Hazlehead Academy for a number of reasons. It’s great to work with a school in our local area and to bring the workplace into a school surrounding. This gives us the opportunity to develop the young workforce and showcase numerous exciting career opportunities that are available within the hospitality industry.”

Alan Daglish, deputy head teacher at Hazlehead Academy, said: “We are always looking to give real context and experiences to the learning of our pupils and our partnership with Malmaison allows several opportunities to demonstrate this. These experiences are crucial to develop key employability skills for our young people to allow them to be successful in their futures.”

DYW North East Scotland is working towards having 40 flagship partnerships in place this year. Designed to raise awareness of the careers and skills required to work in different business sectors, they provide schools with a committed business partner to support the activity designed to prepare young people for the world of work.

DYW director Mary Holland said: “Meaningful partnerships between businesses and schools create a number of mutually beneficial advantages for both, which is why we are pleased to mark this newest collaboration. It is never too early to inspire the next generation of business leaders and expand young people’s horizons when it comes to the variety of career paths open to them.

“We look forward to a long and rewarding relationship between Malmaison and Hazlehead Academy, one which provides pupils with the best start to their future careers.”

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