Marco Pierre White is encouraging hospitality employers to take on more apprentices, by fronting the National Apprenticeship Service's (NAS) new viral advertising campaign.
The campaign, which features White working in a burger van as a depiction of how his life could have been if he had not done an apprenticeship as a youngster, was launched at the chef's St. James's restaurant Wheeler's, where he shared his experience and advice with 15 young apprentice chefs.
White, who earlier this week was reported to slam the standard of education at catering colleges, said the only way to learn the trade was via an apprenticeship.
"Apprenticeships are very important," he said. "When you've got a young person who goes straight from school to catering college, and one who's left school and gone straight into the industry, two years down the line who are you going to employ? The one who's had two years in the real world can contribute to my business and I can rely on him. The one who's been to catering college has to start all over again. They've learned very little.
"In many ways catering colleges cause a lot of damage for young chefs' careers, they hold them back and don't prepare them for the real world."
BigHospitality spoke with White and NAS chief executive Simon Waugh to find out how apprenticeships can help both hospitality businesses and young individuals.