21/11/2018

Cooking up a storm – commis chefs embrace apprenticeship programme

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Cooking up a storm – commis chefs embrace apprenticeship programme

A team of rising commis chefs are taking the local hospitality industry by storm and have set their sights on increasing the quality of food in the region.

The School of Travel, Food & Drink at Leeds City College has been working closely with Leeds City Council over the past year to provide a level 2 commis chef apprenticeship for 10 employees, working in kitchens and schools around the West Yorkshire area.

The 18 month programme will give apprentices the opportunity to learn new skills both in a practical and theoretical environment with the college looking to take on a further 12 apprentices in January 2019.

Level 2 Commis Chef Apprentice, Bev Simpson, said she looked forward to going into college every week. “We work well together as a team. The tutor is really good at explaining things.”

The apprenticeship at Leeds City College, prepares students with the knowledge and skills to assist in the preparation and delivery of dishes, as well as learning about ingredients, seasonality, menu, hygiene, presentation, cooking skills and teamwork.

“I’ve learnt so much in the last year. I didn’t realise there were so many different vegetable cuts. I have also learnt how to bake bread and really enjoy it,” student, Vicky Austen said.

Selasi Wood who is also on the apprenticeship scheme said she was very impressed with the programme and said that the overall experience has been amazing.

“My first day exceeded my expectations. Steve the chef made it so interesting. I made bread and soup for the first time. Can’t wait for my next class! Thank you to all the staff at Leeds City College,” she said.

The prospect of earning while you learn is becoming more attractive to school leavers and the majority of entry level apprenticeships in the hospitality sector are, not only guaranteeing a job on completion, but could also see a school leaver potentially earning between £12,000 and £17,000 during the training scheme. There is the potential of earning up to £25,000 if they move into a management position after completing an advanced level apprenticeship.