Apprenticeship Programme Prompts Restaurant Expansion
The team of apprentices – four of whom are based in the kitchens and three are front of house - are working alongside teaching staff to support the cohort of students completing a wide range of catering and hospitality qualifications at the College.
They are also taking a lead in preparing and serving food for diners at the restaurant which is now also open on Thursday and Friday evenings with a fine dining menu and on Saturdays between 9.30am and 3.30pm to prepare a light bistro menu for diners – including customers at the College’s Sensi hair and beauty salon on the site.
In addition, the Engine Shed team will be providing more catering services for events booked by businesses and organisations at the iconic Roundhouse and the restaurant will be open for the first time during College holidays.
Engine Shed Team Manager Stuart Beeley explained: “Having completed a successful level two programme in the department, our students were ready to progress onto apprenticeships – employed by the College and gaining further vocational qualifications to build their work experience and CV for future employment in the industry.
“The apprentices are proving to be a valuable resource for the department. They support students in their practical work experience in the training kitchens and front of house at the Engine Shed and are taking on the responsibilities for the extended evening and weekend opening hours in addition to the lunchtime trade that is manned by students.”
Among the apprentices at the Engine Shed are Darryl Leigh Bailey (21) who was one of the original students to join the department when it was launched in September 2009 and is now working front of house at the restaurant.
He said: “I was looking for an apprenticeship after completing my level two qualification and was delighted when I was accepted.
“This is a great place to work and learn and we are very proud of the standards that have been set in the kitchens and front of house.”
Apprentice chef Grace Martin (19), who came to College after completing A levels at Woodlands Community School, added: “We are taking on a wide range of responsibilities and getting real work experience which is great.
“Having the chance to support students in the kitchens is also giving us supervisory qualifications and experience which will be invaluable in our future working lives.”