A CWMBRAN student is taking the trip of a lifetime to work in Canada thanks to a scholarship from the Celtic Manor Resort.

Joseph Pritchard, 19, is spending the summer in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, working for another of Celtic Manor owner Sir Terry Matthews’ stable of businesses - the Four Diamond Brookstreet Hotel and Conference Centre.

A former pupil of St Albans RC High School in Pontypool, Joseph’s three-month trip to Canada has been organised after he spent time working at Newport's Celtic Manor as part of the degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management, which he is studying at the University of South Wales’ (USW) Newport Campus.

The degree is run in partnership with the Celtic Manor, and sees students spending part of their time working at the resort.

In their three years of study, they learn the ropes in a number of departments, including in food and beverage, conferencing and banqueting, and the rooms division team, which includes reception, concierge and housekeeping.

Joseph also works part time at the Celtic Manor outside of his university course, and says the time there as a student and staff member add to his learning and experience.

He said: “I have always wanted to work in the hospitality industry, as it’s what my parents used to do.

“The opportunities I have gained through the USW and Celtic Manor programme has given me the chance to learn as much as I can about the sector.

“Across the three years of the course I get to be part of the different teams at the resort, starting with a taster of each department in the first year, moving on to be a supervisor, and then specialising as a junior manager in the third year.

“It gives you such a rounded understanding of the business world, and so many transferable skills that you can use when you start your career.”

The three-month stint in Canada will add yet more experience to Joseph’s CV.

“I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m really excited to have the opportunity,” he said.

“I’d love to work for the Celtic Manor when I graduate, but the skills I am being taught through my work experience here and in Canada, and at USW, will give me so much scope to do other things.

“One day I’d like to possibly go into event management, or perhaps be a restaurant manager. All these transferable skills will definitely give me a massive range of options.”

Matthew Lewis, Celtic Manor Resort vice-president of operations, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for Joseph to develop his hospitality skills further and gain experience at a fantastic hotel and conference centre overseas, and we congratulate him on winning this scholarship.

“Joseph and his fellow students on the USW Hotel and Hospitality Management degree course have really impressed us with how much they have learned and how much they have contributed on placement here at Celtic Manor.

“We have been delighted to support, train and develop these students since the course launched in September 2017 and we are looking forward to helping guide the first group of students through to graduation next summer.

“The students learn so much from working in the unique, fast-paced and varied environment here at Celtic Manor, and we have a talented and experienced group of managers to mentor them and help them become the next generation of hospitality professionals.”