BLOG: Martyn, Hospitality and Tourism Academy lecturer

We caught up with Martyn, lecturer at our Hospitality and Tourism Academy, to find out all about a career in the hospitality industry.

Hi Martyn! Can you tell us about your career in hospitality?

I have always loved food and cooking from a young age and enjoyed my summer holidays cooking with my granny. My career bloomed from there, I became more curious about food and wanted to learn about it. I started at a small local hotel with a great head chef and as I learnt with her, I became excited about food. I decided to move on and came to Scotland to learn more. I have worked in a few hotels and restaurants in Scotland and even ventured to Iceland, France and London to learn a little about the cuisines there.

What skills do you think are important to work in the hospitality industry?

Strong communication skills, ability to be adaptive, confidence, resilience, and a positive attitude. The best thing about our courses is the sheer adaptability of the new skills that students undertake which gives them the good practical skills needed to enter the hospitality industry. Being part of all the classes within the department whether it is the training kitchen at our Beechtree Restaurant or the theory in classrooms is important as it allows the students to demonstrate their strengths and allows us to build on the skills that are required for them to be successful in their career.

What does a typical day in your role look like?

Typically working with students of all levels, from leaving school and maybe looking to start a career in hospitality to students that want to upgrade their cooking skills to provide for their family, and students that are already in industry that want to upskill themselves to further their career.

Martyn Woodward, Hospitality lecturer, teaching Hospitality students in the Beechtree Restaurant training kitchens
Martyn teaching Hospitality students in the Beechtree Restaurant training kitchen (Spring 2019)

What can students expect to learn on a hospitality course?

Well, where do I start: Timekeeping, personal appearance, confidence, building on core skills, communication, resilience, practical skills, teamwork, real working experiences in our famous Beechtree Restaurant.

Are students able to undertake work experience opportunities whilst studying?

Yes, through the Hospitality Association Moray (H.A.M) there are opportunities for our students to work with local employers that value and encourage their training.

What opportunities are available to students after graduating?

Depending on the level you start your studies, you can find yourself going on to do anything from Kitchen porter right the way up to Manager or Supervisor level.  Our courses will help you gain employment in many levels within the hospitality sector such as Commis de Rang, Commis chef, Chef De Partie, Tourism Sector, the list goes on!

What are some of the frequently asked questions about the hospitality industry?

One of the main questions asked is around the long working hours: Yes, this is a factor in this career, but it is changing, and employers are adapting to suit the workforce and have found that this approach has benefited their business. But like every career when it gets busy the teamwork kicks in to get the job done!

What is the best part of your job?

Working with a forward-thinking team that always has the students interests at heart. I like to see people progress and do well within their chosen career so seeing how our students skills and confidence grow in the time I have known them is very rewarding. I am the lecturer I am today because of the people that have encouraged the best out of me, and I want to make the same impact on our students.

Martyn Woodward, Hospitality lecturer and colleagues standing beside vehicles to deliver working from home packs to students
Martyn and colleagues delivered supplies and ingredients to students to continue their studies at home during COVID-19 lockdown (January 2021)

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am from Northern Ireland, I have lost my accent over the years - at least until I talk to a family member on the phone!

What is the best advice you ever received, and who was it from?

Mistakes are learning opportunities for everyone! - Mark Bull, Head Chef

If you could invite 3 people to dinner, who would it be and why?

  • Kevin Bridges: I think it would be a hoot and great entertainment
  • James Martin: An inspiring chef who would make an awesome dessert and to listen to his adventures with the Roux Brothers
  • Gordon Rennie: He was my lecturer and always had interesting life stories to tell us as a class

What advice do you have for students starting with us this September?

Take part, let your voice be heard, take plenty of notes.

If you have a love for food and working within one of the many sectors of hospitality then come join us!

You can begin your hospitality career with our NQ Hospitality: Bronze course at SCQF Level 4 or join one of our specialist courses to learn advanced hands-on skills. We offer a wide range of further and higher education courses so whether you are leaving school, returning to education or looking for a career change, now’s the time to find your future here.