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National Apprenticeships Week: Hilton extends chef Academy

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Hilton Worldwide has unveiled plans to recruit 50 chefs to join its Chef Apprenticeship Academy, this year.

The programme will offer students a 12-month apprenticeship, which combines on-the-job training from some of the company’s most talented chefs, with either college-based courses or hotel based master classes.

The Chef Apprenticeship Academy 2012 will see students working and gaining experience at hotels across the UK.

Highlights of the programme include the chance to earn while you learn, executive head chef master classes which could be with the likes of Michelin star Galvin at Windows, an insight into the workings of a diverse number of Hilton Worldwide hotel brands and personal mentoring.

Ben Bengougam, vice president, HR, Europe, Hilton Worldwide, said: "Getting the right people is integral to our growth strategy and at Hilton Worldwide we are passionate about giving people the opportunity to realize their potential.

“The Chef Apprenticeship Academy is aimed at nurturing and developing a new generation of chefs, with each apprentice having the prospect of a full-time commis chef role on completion of the programme.”

Chris Grayling, minister for employment, added: "Youth unemployment is my biggest priority in government and often I have asked business to join us in giving opportunities to young people. I am delighted that Hilton Worldwide are rising to this challenge and offering people the chance to train and work at their Chef Apprenticeship Academy. I look forward to the day when these apprentices run their own Michelin starred restaurants."

Each apprenticeship is fully funded, including tuition fees and travel expenses, and participants will receive a salary during the programme.

Working in partnership with Westminster Kingsway College, the aim is to achieve an NVQ Level 2 in Professional Cookery with the option to progress to NVQ Level 3.

The Chef Apprenticeship Academy has already succeeded in training 60 apprentices, who have completed the programme since its launch in 2010, with the current 12-month programme due to complete this summer.

The Chef Apprenticeship Academy builds on Hilton Worldwide’s ‘Galvin’s Chance’ programme, which offers underprivileged young people the opportunity to develop a career in one of its London-based hotels. The company also offers six month internships as part of its longstanding relationship with hotel schools across Europe. Both programmes are aimed at positions in front office, food and beverage and housekeeping.

Hilton Worldwide currently employs more than 10,000 staff across its portfolio of more than 100 hotels in the UK, with at least 15 new hotels in the pipeline. The company recently announced that growth will create more than 8,500 employment opportunities in Europe, of which 1,500 jobs will be based in the UK.