Katie Burgess' story

Katie Burgess' story

As a lecturer in Hospitality and Catering, Katie Burgess travelled across the USA in 1967 to see how education was feeding into the hotel and catering industry.

The Fellowship

Katie believed that a lecturer should be completely up to date with all aspects of business and training methods in other countries, as well as in the UK, in order to give comprehensive teaching. 

She visited The Hotel School at Cornell University in New York State, renowned as the world’s first university to offer an undergraduate degree programme. The School operated The Statler Inn, then with accommodation for 50 guests, (now the Statler Hotel with 153 guest rooms), a unique concept which was managed and operated by undergraduates as a practice venue. Cornell University, with its excellent reputation for hospitality education was an inspiration, offering an excellent range of courses in all areas of hospitality and hotel management. 

Katie visited other hotel schools, junior colleges and institutes and met with many hoteliers, including those at the world renowned Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, in order to get practical and knowledge-based experience in the industry. 

The Results

On her return to the UK, Katie started a new job as a lecturer in hospitality at Slough College. 

In 1983, she joined the Hotel and Catering Industry Training Board where she trained young people in hospitality and catering. A new organisation evolved following the demise of the Training Boards, which gave Katie the opportunity to work with The Hospitality Awarding Body (HAB) division, helping to launch the competency-based National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) system of awards in the UK and becoming a certified trainer and senior consultant. She was instrumental in writing training programmes to build the infrastructure of assessment and verification to underpin the new qualification structure, and to deliver this training on a cascade basis to organisations. This work took her all over the UK and also worldwide, to places such as South Africa, working with the Hospitality Industry Training Board there, where she carried out the infrastructure training to support the launch of NVQs into South Africa. Katie worked for the company for almost 20 years. 

Katie then moved to the National Health Service University (NHSU) in London, promoting access to Learning Accounts through the management of five areas throughout the North West. 

In 2006, Katie joined the Lancashire Workforce Development Partnership (LWDP) where she remains as Business Manager. She is now developing, leading and managing across many priority areas including education and training services, and workforce development. She ensures that funding is being commissioned and directed against core priorities to meet the needs of the Independent Care Sector across Lancashire. 

She believes that the examples of best practice that she witnessed on her Fellowship in the USA still continues to play a key part in this role. People who are vulnerable, whether they be in hospital or in care, deserve 'hospitality' to maintain the dignity, compassion and quality of life that they are entitled to. 

The LWDP launched a 'Dementia and the Arts' programme, to promote dementia training two years ago as part of the Government's concerns set out in the National Dementia Strategy. This programme has come about as a direct result of Katie's meeting with other Churchill Fellows' at an 'Arts and Older People' seminar. 

Katie says, "This demonstrates the strength of the network, which has been achieved through the many areas of interest and work under which Churchill Fellows travel and become involved during their lifetime."

Her continued work allows this cross fertilisation of new approaches and ideas to influence current practice in social care, at the heart of which lies the core element of hospitality. 

Read more about Katie's collaborations with other Churchill Fellows in the field of 'Creative Ageing'.