From education to employment

Learning from and working alongside professional chefs has been brilliant: Why Fuller’s apprentice loves the Apprenticeship route

Fuller’s apprentice speaks about why he would recommend the Apprenticeship route.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we spoke with Fuller’s apprentice Lewis McGarr about his experience so far at Fuller’s, and why he would recommend the Apprenticeship route.

Lewis began his Apprenticeship at Fuller’s with Havant & South Downs College in October 2018. After thinking ‘why not learn straight in a restaurant environment’, he realised that an Apprenticeship was the right choice for him.

“I always knew I wanted to go into the catering industry,” said Lewis. “I cooked from the age of four or five with my dad in the kitchen.

“I felt like I had quite a broad range of knowledge of cookery already from school, so I chose an Apprenticeship because I wanted to jump straight into service and experience what a real kitchen is like from a young age. I thought what better way than learning through an Apprenticeship? There’s learning involved and I’m getting paid for it – it’s a win win.”

In just a short space of time, Lewis has been given the responsibility of running the larder part of the kitchen on his own from Monday to Friday.

He added: “Being part of a kitchen is quite a proud moment, I love being part of the team here. The opportunity to have an Apprenticeship with Fuller’s has been amazing.”

As well as being part of a team, Lewis has also enjoyed the number of new skills he has learnt so far on his journey.

Lewis said: “One of the big things I have learned has been service. Over Christmas we did sweep service, where one person places the meat, one person does gravy and one person does the vegetables. It was quite interesting to see how different it was to normal service.

“Preparation and knife skills I have also developed drastically – I am so much quicker with a knife now. I think it is partially muscle memory as well, you get used to the handles of the knives. Learning from and working alongside professional chefs has been brilliant, they have passed on so much information to me.”

Lewis has also been learning about the industry at his one day a week in College.

“Being at College one day a week is great for picking up tips and tricks that I can apply when I am working at Fuller’s,” said Lewis.

“The support from the College whilst on my apprenticeship has been brilliant. Just coming out and having a chat with my assessor is a really good way of recognising what I have done and how much I have learnt.”

And would Lewis recommend an Apprenticeship?

“Yes, I would definitely recommend an Apprenticeship to somebody, the experience you get is incredible,” Lewis said. “If you want dedicated experience in the kitchen and you want to learn new skills and how to work as a team in a kitchen then it is definitely worth doing. You learn loads within such a short space of time.

“I want to be a head chef at the top of my career, run my own kitchen and my own team, and my Apprenticeship with Fuller’s is definitely putting me on the right path for my dream career.”

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