New Institute of Hospitality Cymru Student Committee celebrated launch and hosted 'From Wales to the World' event at Senedd


Students and Alumni from University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) took leading roles in an event organised to promote career opportunities and networking in the Hospitality industry across Wales and the world.

Group standing outside Senedd

The two-part From Wales to the World event was hosted by the newly-formed Institute of Hospitality (IoH) Cymru Student Committee and held in Cardiff Bay’s historic Pierhead Building and iconic Senedd. Varied speakers with local and global careers helped students interested in building a career in Hospitality, Tourism and Events network and gain real insight into the sector, whilst also encouraging industry networking and the support of future managers.

The first session was aimed at younger students from schools and Further Education looking to enter the sector, while the second session was for IoH Members, Higher Education students, graduates and industry professionals to celebrate the launch of the new student committee.

Philippa Fitzgerald, a final-year International Travel & Tourism student at UWTSD was appointed as the first Chair of the newly-formed student committee. She said: "It’s an honour to be asked to be the first Chair. This position has given me the opportunity to connect with some fantastic students and inspiring industry representatives whilst developing essential skills to use in my future career. To be part of the amazing team putting on the first student committee event in the nation’s capital was an experience that will stay with me forever.”

As the Hospitality Industry recovers from Covid, the sector faces shortages of skilled operational and management staff, providing exciting opportunities for young people to fast-track into a highly successful career. To support this, the event provided an opportunity for industry representatives and career-seekers across Wales to meet, engage and discuss the future of the sector.

Real life industry and student case studies from Wales and the world were used to showcase exciting opportunities, helping promote career pathways and training options across Hospitality, Tourism and Events. Industry-leading speakers included:

  • Damian Jenkins – Divisional President at The Management Trust California
  • Ed Sims – former CEO of WestJet Canada
  • Helen John – Bluestone Wales Academy Manager
  • James Hayward – General Manager of Celtic Collections, Coldra Court Hotel
  • Jessie Wakely – Founder and Director of Sales and Marketing at Harbour Lights Spirits
  • Mike Philipps – Dubai based ex International Rugby Player and Director of FabFour Coffee

Jacqui Jones, IoH Cymru Branch Committee member and Programme Manager for the Tourism, Events and Leisure Resort Management portfolio at UWTSD, says: "The event was an excellent opportunity to celebrate the launch of the new Institute of Hospitality Cymru Student Committee, which provides students from different universities across Wales with the opportunity to work together to represent the future of the industry. 

“I am delighted that both current students and alumni of UWTSD spoke at the event to showcase career opportunities across the Hospitality, Tourism and Events sectors, demonstrating the University’s important role in developing the industry leaders of the future.”

Speaker Damian Jenkins is an alumnus of UWTSD’s Tourism and Leisure Management programme, while Jessie Wakely is a current Events and International Festival Management student, who said: "I feel incredibly privileged to have spoken at such a prestigious event, and for the chance to hear from people at the top of the hospitality sector from around the world, all on our doorstep! Whether you were a student looking to go into the Hospitality industry or already at the top of your game, this event was really useful and inspiring.”

Regional Engagement Manager for Visit Wales, Ed Ryan said it was a “truly inspirational event that illustrated what tourism and the job I’m in is all about: involving people, working with others, seeing truly creative ideas flourish. The event and the people speaking, whether through video or live, really brought that to life, and was really inspirational, showing students that it is all about the journey. What really came through were people’s journeys to where they are now from where they started.”

Spencer Barret, a student at Cardiff and the Vale College, attended the event and said, “It introduced us to a lot more information about the industry, what there is to it, all the different areas we could potentially go into, so it’s helped a lot and been really useful.”

Katy Hughes, lecturer at Afan College who brought students to the event said, “It's been amazing, informative, and inspiring more than anything. I think it’s given college students a good idea of all the different routes they can take in the future which is so beneficial, because a lot of people, especially students aged 16, don’t know what potential routes are out there. So to watch these different individuals get on stage and talk about where their unique career pathways have taken them is so inspiring.”

The event was supported and sponsored by Senedd Member David Rees.

This year UWTSD is celebrating 200 years of higher education in Wales. From the seeds sown in Lampeter over two centuries ago, it has grown into a multi-campus, dual-sector University providing vocationally relevant programmes in partnership with employers.

Further Information

Ella Staden

Swyddog y Wasg a'r Cyfryngau

Press and Media Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Email :