From education to employment

Raymond Blanc joins London Apprenticeship drive

London Mayor Boris Johnson and celebrity chef Raymond Blanc have joined forces to encourage the capital’s food and hospitality sectors to take on more apprentices.

The sector employs around 300,000 people in the capital, and there are currently just under 5,000 apprentices working in its food industry, which has an annual turnover of around £17 billion a year.

Johnson has pledged to help create 100,000 Apprenticeships in the capital by 2012, and the latest figures from October show he is on track to almost exceed that target.

Raymond, who has taken on 21 apprentices at Brasserie Blanc restaurants across London and the UK, is the latest big name to join the Apprenticeship drive.

The two star Michelin chef said: “As an employer I want to provide a nurturing, caring environment to give young people the very best chance they can have to succeed.

“It is vital that the restaurant sector has home-grown talent to develop the necessary skill and craft for the future. The National Apprenticeship Service will help you to find the right people and hold your hand through the process to make sure the experience is positive for all parties. I am self-taught and it was tough – I longed for a mentor to guide me through my career so I am 100 per cent behind the Mayor’s drive to bring so many young people into the business and to give them the best chance to excel.”

Natalie Thornhill

(Pictured: London Mayor Boris Johnson) 

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