The Old Grammar School Campus, Newport: 01983 533926 | Riverbank Campus, Newport : 01983 824930 | Lakeside Campus, Portsmouth: 02392 374752
What exactly is ‘Professional’ Cookery?
Professional Cookery is the preparation and cooking of food in a commercial environment. This can take place in a wide variety of situations and locations including restaurants, hotels, pubs, hospitals, canteens, the armed forces, care homes and even on ships! It’s a creative, often fast-paced and rewarding career which can offer exciting opportunities for development and travel.
What’s it like working as a Chef?

Chefs prepare food using a variety of cooking methods, usually using fresh ingredients. In most kitchens you will work as part of a team under the direction of a Head Chef who is responsible for running the whole kitchen. You will need a keen interest in food and cooking and to do several tasks at once–at times under pressure. If you are creative then this is one career where you will be able to show off your skills by presenting dishes in imaginative ways.

You will usually start as a kitchen assistant or trainee chef, also known as commis chef. At this level you will normally spend time in each area of the kitchen, learning a range of skills and how to look after kitchen equipment. With experience, you could progress to section chef, also known as station chef and chef de partie. In this role, you would be in charge of an area of the kitchen. The next step is sous chef, where you would be running the entire kitchen for the head chef when needed. At Head Chef level, you would be responsible for creating and updating the menus, and for producing and meeting financial budgets.

Hours are likely to involve early mornings and/or late nights depending on where you work. You can also expect to cover weekends and public holidays. Kitchens are hot and humid and very busy around key meal times. You would wear chef whites and a hat for hygiene reasons.

What can I expect to earn?
  • A trainee (commis) chef may start on a salary of around £13,000 a year.
  • Section chefs (chefs de partie) can earn up to £16,000 a year, and a second chef (sous chef) may earn around £22,000 a year.
  • Head chefs (chefs de cuisine) can earn up to £30,000 a year.
  • An executive head chef in a top hotel can earn between £40,000 and £50,000 or more.

Figures are supplied by the National Careers Service and are intended as a guideline only.

How can HTP help me become a Chef?

HTP Apprenticeship College offers three great ways to get your career started: a Full-time course, a Traineeship or an Apprenticeship. Full-time courses are available at Level 1, Traineeships where you undertake work experience to make sure that becoming a chef is right for you, or an Apprenticeship where you will be earning and learning right from the start. You don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to start a Professional Cookery programme with HTP, although good grades in maths and English would be beneficial.

“The Apprenticeship has made a huge difference to me as a person. I’ve grown in confidence and gained skills I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for the team around me.”

Luke Breslin

Chef, The Little Gloster

Thousands of young people have succeeded with an Apprenticeship through HTP Apprenticeship College. You could too!

Lesley Green achieved her Level 1 qualification on a Full-time Professional Cookery Course. She demonstrated her potential as a chef on her work experience placement at beauty brand, Liz Earle’s staff restaurant, where she has since secured an Apprenticeship.
Tom Bull started his Apprenticeship at the Seaview Hotel straight from School and has now completed his Advanced Apprenticeship.
Congratulations to these young people who have recently succeeded in Professional Cookery with HTP Apprenticeship College:

Intermediate Apprenticeships

  • Chloe-Dee Lockwood
  • Joshua Menke
  • Isaac Croucher
  • Jake Sinnicks
  • Jasmine King
  • Carl Nash
  • Cameron Smith
  • Harriet Sturgess

Advanced Apprenticeships

  • Dean Wickens
  • Sophie Salway

Get started today – your way

There are 3 great ways you can begin your career through HTP Apprenticeship College. Choosing the right one for you depends on how ready you are to start work.

Get straight into work

You’re keen to start a career as a chef. Why not earn while you learn and gain nationally-recognised qualifications with an HTP Apprenticeship – the best way to get straight into the workplace. The first stage is usually an ‘Intermediate’ Apprenticeship and if after that, you want to gain more qualifications, you can progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship.
Intermediate Apprenticeship

The Intermediate Apprenticeship is made up of the following qualifications:

  • Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery, Food Production and Cooking, Kitchen Services or the Level 2 Diploma for Proficiency in Meat & Poultry Industry Skills
  • Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (not required for Meat & Poultry framework)
  • Level 1 or 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English (if you do not already have GCSE at Grades C or above)
  • Employee Rights and Responsibilities
  • Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills
Advanced Apprenticeship

The Advanced Apprenticeship is made up of the following qualifications:

  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery
  • Level 3 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles
  • Level 2 Functional Skills in maths and English (you will be exempt if you already have GCSE at Grades C or above in these subjects)
  • Employment Rights and Responsibilities
  • Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills

Get some experience first

Not sure if becoming a Chef is for you? No problem. Try working in a real business for up to 6 months and find out if it’s suitable for you. If for any reason it isn’t, we can help you find another opportunity! A Traineeship is a great way to gain experience, skills and knowledge, and progress onto an Apprenticeship or into other employment.

This Traineeship

HTP Apprenticeship College works with a large number of hotels, pubs and restaurants who will offer a keen young person a chance to get into the industry. HTP will help find you the right potential employer for you and get you underway. When you are on work experience you may get some expenses towards things like travel and meals. On a Traineeship you will:

  • get a minimum of 6 weeks work experience
  • take part in classroom-based training at one of our training centres to help you prepare for work
  • have the chance to achieve maths and English qualifications (if you need to)
  • receive all the information, advice and guidance you need to get your career underway
After your Traineeship

After you have completed your Traineeship you will progress on to your Apprenticeship or into other employment.

Get ready and confident

Many young people would like to feel a little more prepared or confident about starting work before applying for a job. That’s where our Professional Cookery Full-time Course comes in. It’s not like being at school or college and you also undertake a period of work experience with a local business to gain practical workplace skills and knowledge.
This Full-time Course

You’ll be based at our Riverbank Campus at Little London in Newport on the Isle of Wight, where you will undertake the Level 1 Certificate in the Introduction to Hospitality Industry along with work experience with a local employer. Some of the things you’ll learn on this course include:

  • customer service
  • healthy eating
  • basic food preparation and cooking
  • the different kitchen equipment
  • pastry and cake preparation and cooking methods
  • meal planning and preparation
  • food safety in catering
After your Full-time Course
After you have successfully completed the Level 1 course we will help you secure an Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery with a local employer.
Work with the best…
We’ve already placed young people like you with these and many other reputable organisations:

Call us now • IoW: 01983 533926 • Portsmouth: 02392 374752

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