Carve out a new career as a chef with these tasty new schemes | The Sun

CARVE out a new career as a chef.

Three-quarters of our restaurants, pubs and cafes are struggling to find enough cooks, waiting an average of five months to recruit starters with the right skillset.

Although the job pays an average of £28,000 a year, there are more than 50,000 vacancies nationwide.

Research by bottled water brand San Pellegrino found that 55 per cent of chef employers believe there is a wealth of gastronomy talent in the UK — but three-quarters say more needs to be done to attract fresh talent.

Some firms have set up chef “academies” to train young people and career changers.

Here are some of the tastiest new schemes.

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BUTLIN’S

THE year-long programme begins with two weeks of training in a purpose-built test kitchen close to the holiday resort in Minehead, Somerset. That is followed by coaching in up to five different restaurants.

Trainee chefs are assigned a personal mentor, with access to industry experts.

Senior development chef Toby Hill says: “This is the perfect platform for anyone wanting to get into the industry.”

  • See inploi.com/company/butlins/chef-academy.

JOHN LEWIS

THE retailer is hiring ten apprentice chefs this year and will expand further in 2023. Trainees spend a year in the kitchens of the firm’s HQ, working towards a Professional Commis Chef Level 2 qualification.

They can then apply for permanent roles. Executive chef Michael Abadee says: “The UK has always delivered some of the world’s best chefs.

“But that has come under threat in the past two years as the industry has come under increased pressure. Our academy is a huge opportunity for people with a shared love of great food to be inspired and develop the skills they need to become the country’s future chefs.”

  • See jlpjobs.com for details.

SAN PELLEGRINO

SUSTAINABILITY courses and internships include placements at leading restaurants in Italy.

  • Details at sanpellegrino youngchefacademy.com.

'Being paid to learn amazing skills'

JESSICA SIMMONS is a trainee in the Butlin’s Chef Academy.

She swapped her job at the company’s supermarket at its resort in Minehead, to work in the  fish and chip restaurant – before training as a professional cook.

Jessica, 38, from Minehead, said: “Being a chef is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. With the experiences we get on the course, plus the qualification at the end of it, I feel very lucky to be taking part.

“I’m getting paid to learn these amazing skills that will benefit me as I progress in my career. We get a set of Victorinox knives and catering books to help our learning when it comes to  assessments. You don’t need any qualifications.

“The course is designed so  there’s the opportunity to get a qualification when completed. You just need common sense, to be organised, have the ability to work under pressure and to love food.”

Jobspot

GROSVENOR CASINOS is recruiting for chefs, bar supervisors and food and beverage team leaders.

See careers.smartrecruiters.com/TheRankGroup/grosvenor-casino.

YOU'RE GETTING WARMER

CAN’T stand the heat in your hot kitchen? Or toiling in a boiling office?

Wherever you work, a scorcher is tough. Susan Clews, chief executive of arbitration service  Acas, says: “The warm weather may be a blessing for some but many going into work on one of the hottest weeks of the year will not appreciate the heat.”

Here is what your boss should do to make it bearable.

  1. Thermal comfort. The Health & Safety Executive  says the temperature in all workplaces in buildings must be “reasonable”, including home working. See hse.gov.uk/temperature/index.htm.
  2. Keep your cool. Switch on fans or air-con and use blinds  to block sunlight. Outdoor staff  should wear appropriate clothes and use sunscreen.
  3. Stay hydrated. Employers must provide  water.
  4. Dress code. Employers are not obliged to relax uniform or dress codes in hot weather but where possible, it may be advisable to relax them.
  5. Travel. If your route to work is affected, let your boss know as soon as possible. You may be able to make other arrangements, such as working from home or different start times.
  6. Vulnerable workers. Some staff – such  as the elderly, pregnant women and those on medication – could be more severely affected. Employers might want to provide more frequent rest breaks and fans or air-con units.

Jobspot

FOOD service giant the COMPASS GROUP has hundreds of roles nationwide, including kitchen porters, chefs and bartenders.

Search at compass-group.co.uk/jobs.

DRIVE ON CABBIE JOBS

TAXI drivers are essential to the hospitality economy.

But many towns and cities are  suffering from a shortage   after thousands quit during the pandemic.

A new scheme in Lancaster aims to boost numbers by offering free training and support.

The taxi recruitment course from Lancaster City Council, Lancashire & Morecambe College and training provider Inspira, offers fully funded DBS checks, medicals, Advanced Driving Test and licence fees.

It also  gives help with CV writing and job applications. Victoria Emmett, area operations manager for Inspira, said: “This is a really   exciting initiative.

“It is  already making a positive difference to people’s lives – and also to the life of the city.”

  • See lmc.ac.uk/taxi.

SPRING INTO ACTION 

MAKE the leap into hospitality with specialist charity Springboard. It  trains jobless under-25s for roles in the  sector.

Working nationally across the UK, Springboard offers tailored training, work placements and careers events. It also partners with schools and colleges to improve industry teaching.

Duncan Sutherland, 23, recently completed its Learning For Life: Digital Bartending & Hospitality programme, sponsored by drinks giant Diageo.

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He said: “I had my reservations about the prospect of building a successful, long-term career in the industry. But Springboard   enabled me to build a wide range of skills.”

You can find out more about this at springboard.uk.net/our-programmes. 

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