Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall has scooped an award from none other than the European Commission. The restaurant beat off four finalists from across Europe to win the “Inclusive growth: creating jobs for the young generation” award.
If that’s a bit of a mouthful, here’s what it means in a nutshell: Fifteen has been praised for helping to lower unemployment among young people in Cornwall and for its investment in the local community.
As well as cooking delicious, critically-acclaimed food overlooking the gorgeous Watergate Bay near Newquay, Fifteen takes in disadvantaged young people and gives them a chance to transform their life through food, giving them the chance at a career in cooking.
Jamie Oliver said: “It’s brilliant news that we’ve won a RegioStars award for creating jobs for young people. We aim to create fantastic opportunities for our apprentices by giving them time, love and care, as well as a platform to develop both their confidence and the professional skills they need to be successful in the workplace.”
Since opening in May 2006, Fifteen Cornwall has enrolled more than 140 apprentices, with 80% still working as chefs today. Run by the Cornwall Food Foundation on the behalf of Jamie, the Fifteen Cornwall Apprenticeship Programme is about to start training its ninth cohort of future chefs.
Fifteen Cornwall also invests £1 million a year back into the local economy through local sourcing and has created 80 jobs for other local people.
Matthew Thomson (pictured), CEO of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall and the Cornwall Food Foundation, said: “This award is an important step for our social enterprise because it shows how tackling social problems can contribute to the economy. European recognition has helped us to celebrate and reaffirm what we have achieved; we’re looking forward to the future now and how we can expand our reach.”