Apprentices cook up a real recipe for success

Skilled work: Teenage chef Tim Houghton shows Coun Jackie Drayton some of cookery skills he has learned during his apprenticeship.                            Picture: Stuart Hastings
Skilled work: Teenage chef Tim Houghton shows Coun Jackie Drayton some of cookery skills he has learned during his apprenticeship. Picture: Stuart Hastings
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SHEFFIELD teenager Tim Houghton is enjoying a taste of life in a top city centre restaurant as he completes a high quality apprenticeship programme.

The 19-year-old from Bradway was joined by leading city councillor Jackie Drayton, who donned a chef’s hat and whites to gain an insight into his daily working life.

The visit was arranged to help launch National Apprenticeship Week, now in its fifth year.

Tim is learning the ropes at the Bar and Grill eaterie in Leopold Square, where he is getting a real feel for life in a busy working kitchen.

He gained his interest in cooking from his mum, who worked in catering and then encouraged him to help her with the family baking at home when he was younger.

He is now studying for his Full Level 2 Apprenticeship Award through Sheaf Training, which delivers training for the council’s Lifelong Learning, Skills and Communities Service.

Tim hopes to complete his course in November.

He said: “I love the work here – it’s so much fun, although it can be stressful at times.

“Everyone gets on really well and it’s a brilliant place to work. The staff and management are really supportive, so it’s like working in a family.

“It’s been an eye-opener seeing how busy the kitchen gets and how many dishes we have to prepare and cook in such a short time, but the support and guidance I receive from Chef reminds me everything is going to be fine and I will get there.

“It’s a relief to see the dishes completed and all checks finished. It’s an amazing feeling when I have cooked a dish and compliments to the chef come back into the kitchen.

“This has been the best experience of my life so far and I would love to run my own restaurant one day.”

Coun Drayton said: “I enjoyed working alongside Tim and getting a taste of working in a busy kitchen. I love watching cooking programmes on TV and have seen just how hectic things can be behind the scenes of even the most prestigious restaurants.

“It’s so important to give young people the opportunity to learn new skills by gaining experience in the workplace and achieving a valuable qualification.”

n National Apprenticeship Week highlights the best training schemes around the country.