WINCHESTER jobseekers keen to start a career in catering have been given a special taster session to teach them the tricks for employment.

The city council collaborated with the Business Collective to put on the event at the Trinity centre offering an insight into the world of hospitality from kitchen porters and chefs to front-of-house and management.

It gave out-of-workers the chance to meet with prospective employers and training providers including Lainston House Hotel, Chococo and Forest Holidays.

Eloise Appleby, assistant director for economy and communities at Winchester City Council, said: “Winchester has a rapidly-growing visitor economy, with around 5 million tourists coming to the area each year. They expect our food and drink to live up to the reputation of a prestigious destination like this, and they are rarely disappointed.

“But it is a struggle to recruit new blood into the hospitality industry, and we rely too heavily on student and transient labour right now. Winchester needs to be growing its own chefs, and businesses such as River Cottage Canteen will play a big part in making this happen when they open later this summer.

"In the meantime, we have found local businesses ready and waiting to support an initiative of this kind, and look forward to building on what we have done together this month.”

Joanna Humphrey, from the Business Collective, added: “We were so grateful of the support both from Trinity for hosting the event and the employers who attended. The idea of focusing on one industry along with the range of interactive sessions made for a dynamic and fruitful event for all who were there.”