Become an apprentice
Applications to the Fifteen Apprentice Programme are closed until further notice. Please see the following message from Jamie:
It’s hard to believe that it was 14 years ago that I started Fifteen restaurant and the Apprentice Programme. It’s been one hell of a ride but it absolutely remains one of the things I am most proud of. It’s produced Michelin star chefs and continues to knock out amazing food day in, day out, year after year, thanks to the incredible team we have in place.
Now, as we approach the 15th year, I’ve decided it’s time to evolve. We’re going to take all the amazing insight we’ve gathered over the years and work to give more young people the opportunity to be part of this wonderful industry. When I opened Fifteen back in 2002 it was my very first restaurant. Now, I've got restaurants in towns and cities all over the UK, so it feels like the time is right to expand the Apprentice Programme out into the regions and across the whole country. Plans are already underway and my dream is that we’ll soon have at least one apprentice in every one of my restaurants in the UK, each of them learning from the core values and passion established at Fifteen.
In London, Fifteen will of course continue to function as the brilliant restaurant it is, and it will be business as usual. Profits will be ploughed into running the nationwide apprenticeship scheme.
Our 15th year feels like the perfect time to make this change for the better. Looking back I would never have believed when we started out that I’d be in the position to do this, and I’m really excited about what the future holds. Hopefully we’ll succeed in getting even more brilliant young chefs into our industry, an industry that desperately needs an injection of new, enthusiastic, bright talent. And that’s exactly why I set up Fifteen in the first place.
My personal goal is twofold, firstly to see Fifteen receive a Michelin star, which I believe it deserves, and secondly to go from graduating 15 students a year to 1,500 across the next 10 years, and I’d love to collaborate with other restaurant groups to make this dream a reality.
How the programme works...
The Apprentice Programme runs for a full year, from September to September. During this time, each apprentice works up to six days per week including formal training at catering college, hands-on experience at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, sourcing trips to suppliers, personal development activities and work experience.
Below is a rough breakdown of the year:
- One-week induction at the start of the programme
- one day a week at college (until April)
- one day a week of sourcing trips, work experience taster days, welfare activities, team building sessions or special events
- up to six shifts in the Fifteen kitchen, training in every section including pasta, grill, butchery, fishmongery, front of house and pastry
- Two weeks of work experience at a top-end restaurant chosen according to our apprentices' preferences.
- 'Apprentice Week', where the apprentices take over the running of the kitchen for a week (with the professional chefs on standby)
For the duration of the course, our apprentices receive an £159/week training allowance. Travel expenses are covered and the year also includes a four-week holiday entitlement.
The door is always open...
As well as offering formal on-the-job learning, apprentices are provided with a wider range of support called the ‘Open Door Programme’ to help them make the transition to qualified chefs. The training team helps with a range of complex issues, which could hinder their achievements, such as housing, debt, relationship problems and anger management. Professional educationalists and counsellors are also on hand to provide the apprentices with the skills they need to make the most of their programme. This is just one way of helping the apprentices to leave behind the negative beliefs they may have about themselves so they can fully embrace what Fifteen has to offer.
As part of the Open Door Programme, apprentices undertake challenging activities to strengthen their team-working skills, which are essential for working in any kitchen. A handful of these include residential challenges, team cooking competitions, fundraising events, treasure hunts, ice skating and bowling.
Cutting the apron strings...
The Apprentice Programme culminates in an annual graduation ceremony. More than 300 people join in to celebrate the achievements of those who successfully complete the programme. Graduates, their families and friends, supporters and partners from other restaurants, welfare agencies and sponsors are all invited. Jamie also attends and co-hosts the event so that he can personally congratulate the graduates. It's a magical event. And by the end of the evening, there's not a dry eye in the place!
After graduation, a dedicated Progression Worker is on hand to help graduates find employment or further training, where needed and well as to offer advice on any ongoing welfare issues. Monthly graduate reunions ensure that previous apprentices stay in contact and help to further their skills.
There are currently 164 graduates from Fifteen's London Apprentice Programme and around 80% of these stay in the buisness.
Progression support is also available to those apprentices who - for whatever reason - leave the programme early.
If you have a job opportunity that you'd like us to advertise to our graduates, please get in touch.