Belfast restaurant, SHU has launched its latest SHU Chef Apprentice Programme, in partnership with Belfast Met.
Now in its fifth year, the successful Programme will give three budding cooks, aged between 16-24, first-hand experience of working in a professional kitchen with some of the best chefs in the business. The partnership with Belfast Met means that the apprentices will also receive their City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery.
The restaurant is owned and operated by Alan Reid and Brian McCann who say they have developed the Programme “in a continuing bid to find the very best young, passionate people that have a serious desire to enter the industry and to help shape the future of hospitality in Northern Ireland and beyond.”
The Apprenticeship programme has been launched within SHU’s renowned Centre for Cooking Excellence, which is headed up by Matt Jordan and Brian McCann, a former Great British Menu star.
Brian said: “We are just concluding year four of the programme and we are so glad we started it back in 2015. It has been hugely successful and also rewarding and has allowed us to find two exceptional young chefs last year who are now working in a full-time capacity with us.
“At SHU we are passionate about nurturing our team and our apprentices to help them push their own boundaries in providing exceptional cookery. l started my career as an apprentice chef so I understand the challenges and apprehensions that young people have at the beginning.
“We have made this a fun, fantastic programme which is hard work, but also hugely rewarding and gets the apprentices right into the thick of it from day one.
“Leaving Covid aside, which has obviously made the past year particularly challenging, we feel that there is a real shortage of skilled staff in what is a very successful and growing hospitality industry in Northern Ireland. That creates a massive opportunity for the next generation seeking a career in what will continue to be a growing sector of our economy.
“We wanted to break the mould, and show young people what a fantastic industry this is and with the right skills and training we will give them the gift of being able to work anywhere in the world.”
Brian concluded: “I want to urge any young cook who has a real passion and determination to succeed in this industry to get in touch and apply for this amazing opportunity. No experience is necessary, but the right attitude is essential.”
The SHU Chef Apprenticeship Programme is one-year long and will commence on the September 1. Students will spend three days working in the SHU kitchen learning classical French and Modern European-inspired cooking. They will also spend two days at college, learning the theory and practical elements of the job within the Belfast Met curriculum. The programme will be 35 hours per week and will be paid with Chef’s whites provided.
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