EX.C.E.L.LEN.C.E. | EXpertise in Culinary sEctor upLifted through pLacEmeNts aCross Europe

The context

The UK hospitality sector has seen a significant growth in employment in the last 10 years (with 2.9 million of employees and £130bn of economic activity), but as the sector has grown, skills shortages have consistently been reported in several key operational roles.

Despite the need for professionals (more than 100,000 vacancies registered in UK hospitality sector according to the “Skills Shortages in the UK Economy” Edge Bulletin, in 2019), the national youth unemployment rate was 11.2% (with differences between the North and South of England). Furthermore, migration plays an important role in hospitality, i.e. the no. of chefs born abroad has tripled over the last decade (50% at national level), condition that makes the culinary scene of UK, more specifically London, particularly vulnerable in a post-Brexit world where access to migrant skills is likely to change.

It is vital to invest in skills and capabilities, to inspire young people from an early age, to improve education and training with a modular catering curriculum and international work experience.

Transnational mobility

Through undertaking vocational education and training, students can find such an inspiration and acquire hard/soft skills that could reduce that “mismatch” perceived by companies when looking for and hiring new staff. In this sense, transnational mobility and training under the Erasmus+ Programme are both bonding and bridging social capital.

Furthermore, through vocational education and training, marginalized young people gain opportunities to continue their education, undertake work placements and build valuable employment networks, which is one of the goals to ensure their inclusive growth.

Aware of this, the Consortium members designed “EX.C.E.L.LEN.C.E. – EXpertise in Culinary sEctor upLifted through pLacEmeNts aCross Europe”, which will promote a 3-week transnational mobility for 150 IVET learners (30 full time students from each of the 5 partner colleges) to 3 European Countries that are well-known for their food traditions and high quality hospitality services: Italy, France and Spain.

The mobility will take place under the form of a work placement that will combine job shadowing, coaching and “on the job” practice to ensure the acquisition of specific Learning Outcomes.

The objectives

The project specific objectives are:

  • promoting innovative pedagogical methodologies (“on the job” training) as a successful recipe to facilitate the transition of young learners to the labor market;
  • favoring participants’ employability and job placement, as well as their entrepreneurial spirit, through specific support actions put in place by the Consortium (i.e. business coaching);
  • improving long-term cooperation among the participating organizations in VET activities for young people through Protocols of Understandings and the institution of a Community of Practice;
  • encouraging Language Learning and decision-making skills in younger generations;
  • supporting the recognition of skills and qualifications using ECVET.

The impacts

The project specific objectives and impacts (to be measured within the 12 months following the project end) are the following:

  • promoting innovative pedagogical methodologies (“on the job” training) as a successful recipe to facilitate the transition of young learners to the labor market; it is estimated that 30% of the learners will be offered to go back to the host company at the end of the school year and for seasonal work opportunities;
  • improving long-term cooperation between participating organizations in vocational training activities for young people through specific Protocols of Understandings; it is expected that 2 new projects will be applied under the Erasmus+ Programme Call for Proposals, by 2023; furthermore, at least 3 new initiatives of Work Based Learning born out the collaboration between the partner colleges and the host companies will favor future students’ mobility;
  • encouraging Language Learning and decision-making skills; 100% of trainees will declare their enhanced communication and understanding in a second European language;
  • 60% of the participants will improve their achievement rates and increase their chance to achieve the specific qualification pursued;
  • 90% of participants will state their improvement in soft skills such as team building, problem solving, flexibility and intercultural dialogue;
  • supporting the development of tools for the recognition of skills and qualifications, according to the ECVET system.

Applications open – How to Apply

First Mobility – Italy

The consortium is pleased to announce that the call for applications for the first mobility flow has opened. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic there are no exact dates defined however we anticipate that it should take place in October 2022.

The first Mobility flow will involve:

50 student mobilities to Italy

10 fulltime students from each College involved in Culinary and Hospitality related studies for 3 weeks – accompanied by 2 teachers each. This is a total of 50 students and 10 accompanying teachers/staff.

All the costs related to the project will be covered for the participants:

Transfer to and from the airport


Accommodation with the utilities & Wi-Fi

Full board (3 meals) for all students (3-week mobility)

Travel card


The following colleges are members of the consortium and will each be sending 10 learners to each destination:

Hugh Baird College

Wirral Met College

Coleg Cambria

Middlesbrough College

St Helens College


Students studying at each of the 5 consortium partners are eligible to participate if they meet the following criteria:

are current, full time students of the college;

aged between 15 – 29;

are engaged in relevant studies with particular focus on:

1) Hospitality;

2) Travel and Tourism;

3) Catering and Culinary studies;

hold a UK Passport;

are not involved in any other EU project.


To apply for the project, it will be mandatory to fill in the following documentation which you can download from our website:

ATTACHMENT A – Application Form;

ATTACHMENT B – Curriculum vitae, drawn up using the format provided in the forms attached to the Call, complete with a photo of the candidate and a motivational letter, in English;

Copy of any language certificates or other relevant certificates;

Copy of a valid UK Passport;

All the above documentation must be sent, as an attachment in PDF format, and using the specially prepared formats, exclusively by e-mail to the following e-mail address: info@erasmus-excellence.com. The entire documentation is available on the project website www.erasmus-excellence.com, the page dedicated to the project.

The subject of the email must contain the following wording: Project Name “Country” – “Surname and Name”.