For the first time, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) is actively seeking apprentices in the catering industry. Its newly launched scheme aims to address unemployment and train new talent for the craft sector.
The announcement follows a pilot scheme run by QEST earlier this year with a remit to develop skill sets in five areas, including the culinary arts.
Apprentices must be aged between 16 and 25 and online applications should be submitted by 1 December 2014.
The scheme will pay employers - or master craftsmen - up to £6,000 a year for a maximum of three years to help with the training costs. Either the apprentice or the employer can approach the trust, but both must agree to the application being made. And they will be interviewed jointly.
Funding for the initiative will come from the Worshipful Company of Cooks, as part of a scheme by the Associated Livery Companies.
QEST Apprentices will go on to join the QEST Alumni, a group of 354 craftsmen and women who aspire to the high standards laid down by Appointment of the Royal Warrant.
The trust was founded by the Royal Warrant Holders Association in 1990 to fund the education of craftsmen and artisan workers through scholarship awards.
Since 1991, the trust has awarded more than £2.5m to 354 craftspeople aged between 17 and 50+ for study, training and work experience.
Applications for the QEST apprenticeship scheme can be made at: http://awards.heritagecrafts.org.uk/?p=68