Story by Tromie Dodd

In March this year Fifteen began the annual search for 18 young people to become the new Class of 2011. Following open mornings, local press articles and news on Fifteen’s website over 200 applicants were received. These were whittled down to 67 successful candidates to begin the recruitment process. The recruitment team comprised of staff from the Jamie Oliver Foundation, Fifteen restaurant and the human resources team.

Here’s how it worked:

The First Round Interviews, May 2010

Preliminary interviews were conducted with each applicant to assess their interest in cooking and suitability for the programme. 37 successful candidates were brought forward to Stage 2.

The Cook Off, June 2010

At Lewisham College the candidates were divided into teams of 6 and given a recipe for fresh pasta and bolognaise to cook together. Little did they know, the recruitment team assessed them not on the ability to cook but on their team working skills and brought forward 28 candidates to Stage 3.

The Final Interviews, July 2010
Tromie Dodd and Andrew Parkinson quizzed each candidate to ensure they have the passion and resilience to stay the course and selected our next cohort of 18 apprentices, with a balance of ages, temperaments and skills to begin their programme on 6 September 2011!

What makes a young person eligible for the Fifteen Chef Apprenticeship Programme? We aim to work with the hardest to reach, who fall under these criteria:

“¢ 18 to 24 years old
“¢ Not currently in education, employment or training
“¢ No qualification higher than NVQ Level 2 (or Level 1 if it’s in Professional Cookery)
“¢ Able to work in the UK for the duration of the apprenticeship with a guaranteed place to stay in the Greater London area and

About the author: Tromie Dodd is the Program Manager for Fifteen Foundation.

For more information on Fifteen Foundation.