APPRENTICESHIPS

The School of Food is a pioneering new training programme that will nurture the catering and hospitality professionals of the future.

Eating out has become a big business, resulting in a huge expansion in restaurants, cafes and bars. Because of this, highly skilled chefs are now very much in demand.

The School of Food is the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef, Josh Eggleton, and Best Ambassador for Food winner, Adrian Kirikmaa. These highly experienced chefs have joined forces with the Ofsted-outstanding-rated Weston College to develop a unique training programme that will give young people access to high-quality kitchens, industry experts and invaluable insights.

The apprenticeship has been crafted by catering experts. This means when you complete it, you’ll have all the relevant training you need to step into a career in food.

We’ll help you find an employer who will provide you with an income and a team in which to learn for most of your training. You’ll then spend one day a month in one of our centres to learn the essential skills you’ll need to be chef.

As a bonus, the apprenticeship also includes masterclasses given by producers and artisans, including expert guest bakers, butchers and fishmongers.

The School of Food is a training environment with a practical focus and unique access to catering professionals. This will ensure you have the best possible foundations for your career.

APPRENTICESHIPS WITH THE SCHOOL OF FOOD

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

You will learn and understand how to carry out the basic functions in every section of the kitchen. You will get to experience each section and then choose an area which most inspires you.

WHO IS THIS APPRENTICESHIP FOR?

It’s primarily for people who are currently working in the catering industry. But even if that’s not you, The School of Food will help you find a relevant work placement.

DO I HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL?

You’ll spend one day a month in our professional kitchens learning from a catering expert who has many years of experience in the industry. You’ll also experience masterclasses from guest bakers, butchers and fishmongers.

HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?

Throughout the apprenticeship you’ll be assessed by a professional chef trainer-assessor. They will visit you at your workplace every two months, and keep in contact with you – through phone calls, one to one webinars and more – to support your learning and mentor you.

When your employer, assessor and you are ready, you’ll sit an ‘end-point assessment’ which will test your skills, knowledge and professionalism.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I PASS THIS?

On passing this assessment, your cooking proficiency will be given the seal of approval. You can then progress to further training, continue working for your employer or apply for roles such as chef de partie (The School of Food also offers this apprenticeship) or senior production chef.

With further training and experience, you will be able to progress into positions such as head chef, executive chef or chef patron.

Most of our apprentices are kept on by their employers at the end of their course. That’s because apprenticeships allow you to build a working relationship with your employer and learn the skills that they need in their business.

APPRENTICESHIPS WE OFFER

WHAT DO OUR APPRENTICES THINK?

“I have had great support from a lot of experienced professionals from the industry. I have been shown new techniques that I have used in my employment, particularly in butchery.

Every week spent at The School of Food is different and opens my eyes.

The day trips – like working in the Pony and Traps development kitchen – are amazing!”

Jamie, The School of Food Apprentice, Riverside Inn, Cheddar

“I’ve had such an amazing time every week with The School of Food. Before I started, I was worried that it was going to be a chore each week, but I can’t believe how wrong I was. The guest chefs and master butchers not only do demos, but also get us to copy and produce the same dish as they have with help from fellow top chefs. All students are involved in every class and we bounce off one and another well. This adds to our learning each week.”

Alex, The School of Food Apprentice, Marriott Hotel, Bristol

“Choosing the right apprenticeship programme was so important to me. I’ve only been in The School of Food for a short time as it’s a new course, but the training I’ve received has been so inspiring. I literally cannot wait to get to Ashton Gate on a Monday to see what I’m going to learn next. The School of Food just isn’t about cooking. I’ve spent time at Nisbets (a catering equipment supplier) learning business skills, experienced early starts at Total Produce (a Bristol fruit and veg market) and worked at the Pony & Trap development kitchen with Josh Eggleton! I’ve even taken part in a live radio broadcast for The School of Food as part of Bristol Food Connections. My advice to anyone who is interested in being a chef is to get enrolled in The School of Food. You won’t ever look back.”

Chris, The School of Food Apprentice, St Monica Trust

CURRENT VACANCIES

WHY BECOME A CHEF?

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UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY

Becoming a chef opens up a huge variety of creative opportunities. It’s a job that offers freedom to express yourself as an individual or as part of a team. Your culinary skills and experimentation will be encouraged and the meals you produce will bring pleasure to others.

FEEL PRIDE IN YOUR WORK

Most people don’t get to see the satisfaction they give their customers first hand, but you will. As well as seeing people enjoy your food, you’ll also get a sense of pride when regular customers return, knowing your hard work is being rewarded. Eating out is a treat for most people and knowing you played a part in their special occasions is an everyday experience for a chef.

YOU’LL ALWAYS HAVE A JOB ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

There are job opportunities across the UK and beyond as talented chefs are always in demand. Your training here could lead to travelling for work in locations across the globe.

YOU’LL NEVER BE BORED

Chefs have to think about multiple tasks simultaneously so there’s very little time to feel like you are not being challenged.

YOU’LL HAVE A JOB FOR LIFE

Some say there is no such thing, but with the UK catering industry worth a staggering £44billion a year and the eating out sector growing beyond all recognition, there is more security working as a chef than in many other careers. The choice of vacancies is huge and people with a passion for food and a willingness to learn can go far.

A CHANCE TO BUILD AND WORK WITH A FANTASTIC TEAM

A restaurant kitchen is a busy place but good chefs thrive on this pressure. Leading your team through a busy service is incredibly rewarding.

EXPERIENCE MORE

The School of Food will also offer you more than just an apprenticeship:

  • Trips to growers – learn from some of the South West’s most exciting food producers
  • Experience catering for large functions and dinners
  • Meet and learn from Michelin-starred chefs
  • Access masterclasses from artisans including bakers, butchers and fishmongers
  • Experience working a busy match day at Ashton Gate Stadium.
 

CHARLIE’S MEAT MASTERCLASSES

Bakers of Nailsea is a small family run abattoir and retail butchery based in Nailsea, North Somerset. The business was started over 100 years ago by Thomas Baker and is now into its fifth generation, with Toby Baker and his two sons Russell and James currently running the business.

Charlie started working here in 2015 part-time as a cleaner. He gradually became more interested in the work that was carried out, and began an apprenticeship learning how to be a butcher from his colleagues. Two years later, at just 19 Charlie is now teaching meat masterclasses for The School of Food and is employed at Bakers of Nailsea full-time.

If you’d like help with your application, or would like further information about The School of Food, you can contact us by phone on 01934 411 411 or email apprenticeships@weston.ac.uk