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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Punch Taverns launch apprenticeship schemes

15 March 2013 by
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Punch Taverns launch apprenticeship schemes

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and pub group Punch Taverns have both announced apprenticeship schemes to coincide with National Apprenticeship Weeks.

The celebrity chef's restaurant River Cottage has launched a Young Apprenticeship Scheme with the aim of educating cooks and chefs in culinary arts while at the same time focusing on the importance of sustainability, seasonality and ethical food procurement.

Fearnley-Whittingstall (pictured) commented: "There has been a renaissance in British restaurant cookery in recent years, not just in terms of the style of cooking and techniques now being employed, but also, more crucially in my view, in the approach of chefs to sourcing their food, embracing good provenance, and choosing their recipe.

"With the River Cottage Young Chef Apprenticeship scheme, we aim to strike while the iron is hot, helping to bring even more change and innovation in this area. We'll be guiding our trainees in all the issues at which River Cottage excels: seasonality, ethical and local sourcing, regional ingredients and traditional, hands-on techniques."

Meanwhile Punch Taverns has introduced an Apprentice Mentoring Scheme for its licensees and their pub teams.

Members of Punch's Burton headquarters, who have successfully completed a Level two or three Apprenticeship, have been matched with Punch pub team members currently working towards a qualification.

The Punch mentors will offer the benefit of their experience, having completed a qualification at the same level, and aim to support and reassure the pub team members as they work through their qualification.

Punch licensee, Kate Huckvale of the Hare and Hounds, Coventry is currently completing a Level three Management Skills Apprenticeship and will benefit from the support of Punch mentor, Anna Russell, contact centre team leader who completed the same qualification herself in 2011.

Russell commented: "I really enjoyed completing the qualification and, whilst it had its challenges, I have gained a huge amount from it and developed my career at Punch as a result. I hope I can offer some reassurance to Kate and support her as she completes the modules."

Licensees who take on a new apprentice for the first time also benefit from a £1,500 incentive payment from the Government, processed by training provider Charnwood.

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