Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines has launched a new academy at Exeter College.
The Michael Caines Academy, in partnership with City & Guilds, will offer places to eight trainee chefs and eight front-of-house students, aged between 16 and 19.
The two-year course begins in September and students will be able to work their way up to the City & Guilds Level 3 Diplomas. They will also take part in further courses beyond the initial two years, potentially leading to a Level 4 City & Guilds qualification.
Farm walks, butchery demonstrations and visits to abattoirs, cheese manufacturers, breweries and bakeries are also planned in year one, with the aim of connecting students with the food and drink they will be using throughout their careers.
In year two, students can expect to enter industry competitions, visit leading trade shows and experience work in the country's leading hotels and restaurants, including Gidleigh Park.
As well as direct involvement from Caines, the academy will see Neil Haydock of Watergate Bay Hotel, Matt Mason of Jack in the Green and Tim Bouget of ODE Restaurant taking on mentor roles.
Exeter College principal Richard Atkins said: "We're very excited about this new initiative that will raise the profile of excellence in hospitality. We're proud of all our past students but Michael Caines has been a brilliant ambassador for the college from the time he was the college's Catering Student of the Year.
"He is now not only one of our governors but is also spearheading this academy that bears his name and is inspired by his passion for excellence across the hospitality and catering sector. The range of masterclasses and placements planned will therefore give these academy students the elite experiences that will set them up for a career as glittering as Michael's."
Caines said: "Our hospitality industry and colleges have to work together to develop the right learning skills. The academy is doing just this by working in partnership with some of the best restaurants, pubs, caterers and hotels within our region and beyond to develop our students and to provide them with long-term employment via an apprenticeship or through direct placement.
"We need to ensure that we continue to offer excellence in all we do if we are to maintain this important South-west industry as a first choice for the consumer and as an employer alike."
Those interested in joining the academy should apply before 17 June via www.exe-coll.ac.uk/College/MichaelCainesAcademy.aspx, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01392 205420.
By Gemma Rowbotham
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