Become an apprentice

There are many initiatives designed to help young people stay out of trouble and make something of their lives. 

Jamie Oliver's Fifteen offers a 12-month Apprentice Programme that combines on-the-job-based learning, college-based work, sourcing trips  and personal development. It’s not just a training course. It's a custom-made programme, tweaked and shaped over the years in order to champion the young people which it recruits. Each year, 18 young, unemployed people, between the ages of 18 and 25, are recruited and trained to become professional chefs. 

Each apprentice, while in the Fifteen kitchen, is trained across a number of sections of the kitchen including:

  • Butchery and Fishmongery
  • Grill
  • Hots
  • Pastry
  • Bakery
  • Wood Fired Oven
  • Colds
  • Front of House

Over the course of the year, as they develop in confidence and skill, the apprentices begin spending less time at college and more time in the restaurant. This culminates in Chefs’ Week where the apprentices take over the Fifteen kitchen for a week, under the watchful eyes of the professional chefs.

Following this, the apprentices spend two weeks working in top-end restaurants to gain experience of how other kitchens work. Fifteen's got some great supporters from the likes of The Fat Duck, Rhodes Twenty Four and Bistrot Bruno Loubet, to name a few.

It's an intensive programme that requires hard graft and dedication to the end goal, but it's a transformational journey; 90 per cent of apprentices regard their time with Fifteen as a positive, indeed, life-changing experience.

Fifteen's Class of 2016 Programme will run from September 2015 to August 2016. Applicants can apply online from April to May 2015. For more information see 'the criteria' below. 

A recipe for a successful apprentice...

Fifteen receives about 200 applications every year, but just 18 apprentice chefs are recruited. In addition to the formal criteria, the team of assessors look for candidates who demonstrate:

  • A passion for food and cooking
  • A genuine desire to be a chef
  • Determination to get the most out of the course
  • Enthusiasm
  • An ability to work as part of a team
  • Committed to working long hours, late nights and early mornings