Chef welcomes apprentices into Michelin-starred kitchen
Two young apprentices have been given the chance to spend a day with Chef Tom Kerridge as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
With almost a million young people out of work in the UK and as part of a drive to raise the profile of apprenticeships in the hospitality industry, the pair of apprentices were chosen by Greene King Pub partners to enjoy the one-day experience.
Apprentices Mia Claydon and Alistair Willoughby were welcomed by Kerridge, who runs two Michelin-starred pubs the Hand and Flowers in Marlow and was recently seen as a judge on BBC's The Great British Menu, into his kitchen for the day.
Already successful in managed pubs, an apprenticeships scheme has recently been introduced by Greene King for its tenanted and leased pubs, in partnership with Charnwood Training Group. Tenants receive a Government-funded grant of £1,500 for taking on an apprentice and their apprentices receive training and qualifications, resulting in skilled and committed employees. As well as being of huge benefit to these small businesses, the scheme is helping young people develop long-lasting and rewarding careers in the hospitality industry and last year almost three quarters of all apprentices successfully completed their apprenticeship.
Claydon, 17 from Suffolk works at the Swan in Long Melford and Willoughby, 20 from Baldock is an apprentice at the Orange Tree in Baldock. The pair were nominated as part of a Greene King competition to find talented kitchen apprentices.
Kerridge said: "It was a pleasure to welcome Alistair and Mia into my kitchen. They both have enormous potential and it's wonderful to see new talent emerging from an apprenticeship scheme. Earning qualifications whilst learning valuable skills on the job is a great opportunity for young people."
Kerridge leases the Hand and Flowers pub from Greene King. The pub was awarded its second Michelin Star in 2012, the first pub to ever achieve this accolade. Claydon and Willoughby spent their day behind the scenes in the pub's kitchen, experiencing the hard work involved in preparing and serving food worthy of two Michelin Stars.
Simon Longbottom, managing director of Greene King Pub Partners, said: "Our apprenticeships scheme with Charnwood Training Group has resulted in more and more Greene King pubs taking on apprentices as it's so accessible and rewarding for small businesses."
"Each apprentice receives training and qualifications and it's really giving young people an opportunity to establish a career in the hospitality industry. Mia and Alistair are a great example of the emerging talent that apprenticeships help nurture and progress, and I'd like to thank Tom for giving them this very special experience."
National Apprenticeships Week is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeships Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.