A BLACKBURN College lecturer has played a key role in preparing Russian hospitality for this years Winter Olympics.

Mike Jenner has been teaching the Diploma in Hospitality at Novorossiysk Social Pedagogical College in Krasnodor in Russia.

The 59-year-old, who has been teaching hospitality in Blackburn for a number of years, has prepared his Russian students in time for the Olympics, which start next month.

The course focuses on skills such as customer service, cultural awareness and special diets. Blackburn College was asked to help out as there was limited hospitality provision in that part of Russia.

The Russian students will then use all they have learnt during a visit to Blackburn in March to take part in work placements.

Hospitality students on the same course in England will also get the chance to go Russia on a similar exchange programme.

The visit is part of the college’s international strategy to generate more business and financial security.

Mike said: “The college has been working with the education ministers in Russia to provide courses on hospitality as there is a limited provision in the part of Russia where the Olympics will be held.

“There will be lots of opportunities for hospitality work during the Olympics and the 2018 World Cup, so this will add another string to their bow and make sure they make a great impression to the rest of the world.

“This will be a great teaching experience, and I am really looking forward to getting to grips with their culture.”

Principal Ian Clinton said: “We are proud to be offered the chance to deliver our hospitality course in Russia.

“We are currently investigating many international opportunities to provide courses and fill skill gaps like this.

“We have 123 years of teaching further education, so we really are best placed to provide these courses.

“We see contracts such as this as our insurance policy against further redundancies and government funding cuts, ensuring we maintain the levels of teaching, facilities and services we are proud of.”