20 chefs wanted to pioneer new best chefs qualification for Wales

Senior chefs across Wales are being given an opportunity to achieve a pioneering higher-level qualification by demonstrating their craft skills and knowledge.

Twenty chefs are being sought for the Higher Apprenticeship for Chefs which is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government and delivered by People 1st Wales and award winning learning provider Cambrian Training Company.

The pilot apprenticeship programme, which has been designed by a chef-led working group to meet industry needs, is due to start in September and will run until October next year.

Businesses across Wales are being invited to nominate senior chefs, who have at least five years’ practical experience, to take part in the pilot trials starting in September, which will include specialist workshops, workplace visits and a novel event by way of final assessment.

Anyone interested in signing up for the pilot, including individual chefs with employer support, is asked to contact Scott Antony, project co-ordinator, on 07771 570272 orsantony@britfood.org.uk.

The programme includes craft skills development, profitable and imaginative menu development, coaching and mentoring for individual and team needs and understanding butchery, fish and shellfish, fruit and vegetables.

“This is not only a unique, no-cost opportunity for a chef to enhance his or her craft skills but there is also a strong focus on sharpening their commercial awareness,” explained Scott Antony, project co-ordinator. “Both aspects are designed to bring an early and tangible benefit to the bottom line of a business, which will be a key measure of the qualification’s worth.

“This higher level apprenticeship will benchmark the achievements of senior, craft-led chefs who have gained their skills and experience by whatever learning route they have chosen to travel. It will also complete the career ladder for chefs first taking the new ‘BTEC Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships in Craft Cuisine’.

These new qualifications incorporate the Triple A exams, also piloted in Wales, and were designed and developed by Pearson Work Based Learning in association with the Applied Ability Awards National Committee.

Among the leading Welsh businesses supporting the new qualifications are the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Cardiff-based brewer and retailer SA Brain & Co Ltd and Bryn Meadows Golf, Hotel and Spa Resort, Maesycwmmer, near Ystrad Mynach.

A driving force behind both the Higher Apprenticeship, and the Craft Cuisine Apprenticeships that precede it, is Arwyn Watkins, managing director of Cambrian Training Company and a member of the AAA National Committee.

“These new qualifications will identify a clear career pathway for chefs and put them on an equal footing with engineers and other technically led craft Apprenticeships,” said Mr Watkins. “They are designed to raise skills to the highest level and create the best chefs for Wales.

“When we brought the Applied Ability Awards to Wales, I recognised that it was a powerful product because it was in the ownership of a committee representing all the chef associations in the UK. Now we are reaping the rewards of this pioneering work in Wales.

This project is supported by the Welsh Government’s Sector Priorities Fund Pilot (SPFP) Programme that also receives additional support from the European Social Fund (ESF)

For more information please contact Scott Antony, project co-ordinator at Cambrian Training Company, on 07771 570272 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations consultant, on 01686 650818.