Become an apprentice

There are many initiatives designed to help young people stay out of trouble and make something of their lives. As a successful social enterprise, Fifteen offers something very special: a trade which Jamie has made 'cool', a new sense of purpose and positive networks.

Fifteen London offers a 12-month Apprentice Programme that combines on-the-job-based learning (65 per cent), college-based work (8 per cent) and personal development (11 per cent). 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 24, are recruited and trained to become professional chefs. 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 London's Class of 2015 Programme runs from September 2014 to August 2015. Applicants can apply online from April to May 2014. 18 young people who are formally accepted will be asked to join the Fifteen London kitchen in early September.

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

  • Breakfast
  • Fish and mains
  • Food preparation
  • Meats and grill
  • Pasta
  • Pastry and desserts
  • Starters and salads

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 London kitchen for a week, under the watchful eyes of the professional chefs.

Following this, the apprentices spend three 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.

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