Fifteen young chefs are celebrating today after graduating from the Fifteen Foundation's London apprenticeship scheme.
A record number of trainees graduated from the scheme this year, which has been shortened from 18 to 12 months, with more than half of the apprentices offered jobs before the end of the course.
The scheme is designed to give young people, often in need of a break, work experience in the hospitality industry. Trainees spend 50 per cent of their time working in a restaurant, 30 per cent at college and 20 per cent receiving welfare support.
Fifteen Foundation chief executive Penny Newman said: “We are very proud of the class of 2009. Their hard work has paid off and it is really pleasing to see them setting off on their chosen paths. Nearly half of them were offered jobs during their work placements and the rest of them are working hard to gain employment.
“Each person has been on an amazing journey and we hope that they keep in touch with the Fifteen family as they pursue their new found careers.”
Each graduate will receive a Fifteen dog tag and certificate from Fifteen's executive head chef Andrew Parkinson and Jamie Oliver's mentor Gennaro Contaldo.
Since it was set up in 2002 more than 141 apprentices have been recruited through the scheme with 63 per cent of them making it through to graduation.
In the final week of their course, apprentices at Fifteen man the kitchen with supervision from Andrew Parkinson and his sous chef. Watch them in action here.
Trainees graduating today are:
Owain Atkinson Grade: Merit Work placement: The Fat Duck Now working as Chef de Partie, Chez Bruce
Julian Bailey Grade: Merit Work placement: The Vineyard at Stockcross Now working as Pastry Chef at Fifteen before going to the US
Claire Braine Grade: Pass Work placement: River Cottage Currently doing trials
Steven Estevez Grade: Pass Work placement: Odette’s Now working as commis chef at Plateau, Canary Wharf
Morgan Evans-Dixon Grade: Distinction Work placement: The Ritz Currently moved to Devon temporarily to be with his family. He’s been offered a job at the Ritz which remains open
Tedros Hagos Grade: Distinction Work placement: Coq d’Argent Currently working as a Commis Chef at Coq d’Argent
Paul Lacey Grade: Merit Work placement: Theo Randall at The InterContinental Park Lane, Mayfair Currently in discussions for a full time position
Trina Lewis Grade: Merit Work placement: Moro Currently: worked at Fifteen at Harvest at Jimmy’s and at Fifteen stand at Finsbury Square Farmers Market
Daniel Parish Grade: Pass Work placement: St. John’s Restaurant Currently doing trials
Elliot Roche Grade: Merit Work placement: One Aldwych Currently doing trials
Marvin Robb Grade: Pass Work placement: Gaucho, Bishopsgate Currently doing trials
James Santrey Grade: Merit Work placement: Plateau, Canary Wharf Currently work as Commis Chef at Plateau in Canary Wharf
Sandy Simmons Grade: Merit Work placement: Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire Currently worked with Fifteen at Harvest at Jimmy’s Festival and at Fifteen stand at Finsbury Square Farmers Market
Chantelle Townsend Grade: Pass Work placement: Loch Fyne, City Branch She has decided to pursue a career in fishmongery
William Turpin Grade: Merit Work placement: Nahm Currently: doing trials