A career in the Catering industry is fast paced, exciting and rewarding. An Apprenticeship is a great way to start your career, learning the knowledge and gaining the experience to succeed.
A commis chef is often the starting point, where you will be working under the supervision of a Head Chef, carrying out basic cooking and food production tasks.
This role offers perfect opportunity to understand the different “stations” in a kitchen. It might lead you to discover that a particulatar area of progression, such as pastry, fish or roast is the right path for you.
At the end of your Apprenticeship you may want to progress to the next level of your learning and your career.
I started on my Level 1 with JACE Training. I was eager to start straight away, and it began with work experience which was meant to be for a couple of weeks. I ended up being there for much longer and learnt about working in a kitchen. More than that, I learnt how to speak to people, more front of house which now I put into play when I am in my job. For example, when I am doing a carvery, it rolls off my tongue and it’s much better.
Then I moved to Mark Masons and got paid just about £3.00 an hour but I stuck at it and even in the first few months things started to change. I wouldn’t change my experience at Mark Masons at all because I learnt everything in my time and felt comfortable. At first you think, ‘I’m never going to be able to cut this’ or ‘I’m never going to be able to chop that’ and it’s quite hard – actually it’s very hard.
I finished my Level 2 a few years ago now but am not ready to move onto my Level 3 just yet as I’ve got some other plans that I want to do otherwise I’d 100% would have done my Level 3 by now. You just need dedication or it’s not worth doing.
For me personally I knew I didn’t want to stay at school and they didn’t have cooking lessons. I knew I wanted to learn how to cook and looked at some colleges but knew I wanted to work rather than go to college. I wanted to earn and get a qualification, so an Apprenticeship ticked all the boxes for what I wanted personally, and it worked out for me.
For people thinking about doing an Apprenticeship I’d say it depends what you want to do in life. If you know you want to be a chef and you want to learn what to do in a real-life kitchen rather than learning how to cook at home, it’s better as you learn to cook for a certain amount of people or in a certain amount of time.
JACE have supported me as they can answer queries say for example when you really want to push on with your work and they assist you, everything’s good.
I would recommend JACE because I have already done it.