From education to employment

Apprentices ‘take-over’ College’s Mulberry Restaurant

Catering apprentices undertaking apprenticeships in restaurants across the region joined forces during National Apprenticeship Week to run a special evening service at Burton and South Derbyshire College’s (BSDC) Mulberry restaurant.

The Mulberry Restaurant is a popular, contemporary fine-dining restaurant, usually staffed by staff and students on Catering courses at the College. However, for one night only, the reins were handed over to the College’s apprentice chefs to design the menu and serve up a delicious three-course menu to a fully booked restaurant.

Thomas Bowles, Commis Chef Apprentice for Whittington Golf Club was leading the main section during the event and was delighted to take part. Thomas discovered his interest for working in kitchens at the age of 14. Despite being an academic student and initially pursuing a business and finance degree, he soon realised that his heart belonged in the kitchen, preferring the active pace of a restaurant environment over desk-bound work.

He said: “The apprenticeship route was right for me – it gets you the job experience and you can still earn money. I think you learn more in the workplace on the job than in a classroom environment. I want to stay as a chef once I’ve qualified and then I would eventually like to get into teaching in the long-term. I enjoy everything about working in a kitchen – the atmosphere and rising to the pressure – I love it! Once you get a good team around you, you’ll enjoy it.”

Daniel Arthy, Catering and Hospitality Trainer at BSDC said: “The Mulberry Take-over event was a great opportunity for apprentices to work together to share their skills in a new environment. The students did a fantastic job and it’s testament to the invaluable hands-on experience they gain through apprenticeships. Events like these not only showcase the apprentices’ culinary skills but also highlight the importance of practical learning in shaping successful careers in the industry.”

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) takes place between 5th-11th February 2024 and is an opportunity for the education and skills sector to celebrate the achievements of apprentices around the country and the positive impact they make to communities, businesses, and the wider economy. During the week, the College also held an Apprenticeships Fair event, where a range of local employees attended to share their latest apprenticeship vacancies.

Employers interested in taking on an apprentice can find out more by contacting Burton and South Derbyshire College on 01283 494510 or [email protected]. Meanwhile, those looking to begin an apprenticeship are encouraged to find out more at the College’s Apprenticeship Open Day on Monday 18th March, 5pm-7pm.

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