Interstate, the international arm of Aimbridge Hospitality, has joined forces with Babcock Training for the scheme, which will see Interstate taking on 17 apprentices aged 16-20-years-old from across the UK, with the aim of training each person to become a production chef or sous chef within 18 months.
A second cohort is planned for the scheme to allow candidates to progress to senior production chef level, chef de partie, head chef or departmental manager.
The company said apprentices will be placed in Interstate properties throughout the UK, from Canterbury to Inverness, and will receive on-the job training as well as the opportunity to take part in competitions and masterclasses in the Interstate training kitchen.
Hazel Hogben, senior VP – Human Resources at Interstate Hotels and Resorts, said: “It’s no secret that our industry is facing a real crisis when it comes to being able to recruit and retain chefs. The pandemic has simply put off a lot of people from working in hospitality and sadly, has led to many existing chefs leaving the industry, too.
“We hope that by launching this new apprenticeship scheme we can capture the interest of young people across the UK and demonstrate all the benefits a career as a chef has to offer.”
She added: “We want to excite and inspire our apprentices by showing them how they can progress in the role from production or commis chef to head chef and beyond, and to really spark a love of food by teaching them about the value of quality ingredients, nutrition and food provenance.”
Alongside the apprentices’ on-the-job training, the programme will also see students take part in three assessments throughout the course, as well as coaching and mentoring, e-learning and task simulation.
Olive Gardiner, Babcock Training’s director of National Accounts, said: “Babcock is delighted to be working with Interstate Hotels & Resorts to support their new Chef Academy and provide apprenticeship programmes for the development of the next generation of chef talent across their hotel and resort portfolio.
“Having recently launched our Road to Recruitment campaign drive we are also excited about the opportunity to ensure a steady pipeline of future chef candidates for the group.”