Throughout National Apprentice Week (3-7 March 2014), Marriott International is holding a series of open days aimed at attracting young people into the culinary industry. Hundreds of aspiring and ambitious chefs will be welcomed into more than 50 Marriott hotels up and down the UK, to meet current chefs and apprentices, participate in interactive cooking sessions and learn about the Marriott Culinary Apprentice Academy (MCAA), a programme designed to attract and train the next generation of chefs.
Two years ago, Marriott made a commitment to youth employment by launching the MCAA, a programme run in conjunction with Babcock, a training provider, and local colleges to train young people to a minimum NVQ level 2 in culinary. The 18-month programme awards a guaranteed commis-chef position to every apprentice that completes the course.
“Youth unemployment continues to be a serious problem in the UK and we recognise the need to raise awareness of the exciting opportunities within the culinary industry and the rapid and diverse career progression it can offer,” said Bridgett Price, Chief Human Resources Officer for Marriott International in Europe. “We hope that the open days will inspire young people to consider a culinary career and join the Marriott Culinary Apprentice Academy.”
To date, the MCAA has trained ten young chefs to commis-chef position and has a further twenty apprentices enrolled on the programme. The academy has an extensive support structure and is designed to identify and nurture talent. Two apprentices have excelled, earning demi-chef de parties positions with one being awarded three accolades; Bristol Apprentice of the Year, College Apprentice of the Year and runner-up in National Apprentice of the Year. Marriott aims to enrol thirty more apprentices this year when applications open in April.
Marriott has heavily invested in the future of its restaurants and culinary teams. Last September, Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of Marriott International, announced a partnership with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage to celebrate and support local and sustainable food and enrich the guest experience. The new seasonal menus launched at Cardiff Marriott Hotel and Hollins Hall, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club in West Yorkshire, will soon be rolled out to cover more of Marriott Hotels’ 50 UK hotels. The chefs at both hotels underwent rigorous training at the River Cottage Chefs’ School and obtained City & Guilds accredited certificates in a range of competencies, from procuring sustainable food through to butchery and nutrition.
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