A Peterborough hotel is at the sharp end of a new initiative to encourage more people to opt for a culinary career.
Peterborough Holiday Inn West, based in Thorpe Wood, is one of a dozen venues to help pilot a national Chef Development Academy that seeks to tackle a skills shortage in the hospitality industry.
The academy will launch in August and Valor Hospitality, the international hotel management company that runs Holiday Inn Peterborough, is seeking recruits to join and learn.
While undergoing their training, recruits will be paid an annual salary of £20,000. and receive a full starter kit, including chef whites, shoes and their own knife set.
Valor will work in partnership with expert hospitality apprenticeship and training provider, Umbrella Training to deliver the programme, which will feature a mix of one to one tutoring and on-the-job training starting at apprentice Level 2.
The scheme provides candidates with the opportunity to reach head chef level within five years.
It also offers other incentives with Valor enabling its Academy group at Holiday Inn Peterborough to compete for quarterly bonuses for those who have demonstrated the greatest development in skills and expertise.
Valor is also offering a guaranteed pay increase to a minimum of £22,500 upon completion of the initial 12-month Academy.
And lucky recruits will also undertake a number of unique, off-site, immersive experiences at locations such as Billingsgate Market and Taste of London, as part of their newly designed Culinary Club.
Ben Morcombe, general manager at Holiday Inn Peterborough, said: “Valor is looking to develop the next generation of culinary superstars across the country, and we’re excited to be one of the hotels involved in the apprentice scheme.
"The Chef Academy provides a brilliant opportunity for local people to get in the hospitality industry, all the while providing them with the training to have a thoroughly progressive career.
“As the hospitality industry deals with a chef shortage, there has never been a better time to seriously consider a career as a chef.
"The scheme will provide people with the necessities to thrive in a culinary career.
"It’s such an interesting sector and the opportunities for growth and career development are endless.”
For details, visit www.valorhospitality.com