The east London restaurant, which offers six months on-the-job training front and back-of-house to the long-term unemployed, has been forced to find alternative means of supporting itself after it became a victim of the coalition Government's spending cuts.
"The future jobs fund established by the previous government is no longer available so now we have to find £70k a year to pay our apprentices," Hoxton Apprentice director Val Corbett told BigHospitality.
"We are looking at alternative ways of funding. We have a fundraiser here working hard to do that, but we are saying to the industry if you want skilled people front and back of house you need to put something into this and we'd really like money to be able to continue."
Since it was launched in 2004, Hoxton Apprentice, has trained 650 people with 70 per cent of them finding jobs in the hospitality industry when they finish. Recently, apprentices have found jobs at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and the Hilton London Tower Bridge.
Corbett, who has been a volunteer at the charity for the past six years, said: "We equip our apprentices with marketable skills and while they're here they also study for NVQ2s. We believe in giving a hand up not a hand out."
To help support the charity and its apprentices Corbett says there are a number of ways the industry can get involved:
- Through a £10k sponsorship of an apprentice
- By mentoring apprentices or helping with fundraising events
- By booking a place or a table at the restaurant's next fundraiser
Without more cash, Corbett says the payment scheme for apprentices will have to be changed - they will no longer be given an apprentice wage, but will remain on the Job Seekers' Allowance which will then be 'topped up' by Hoxton Apprentice.
"This way is not ideal, because they remain job seekers," she said. "Most people want to work and the reason that they don't is not that they don't want to, but because they can't stand the rejections.
"The change I see in these kids when they've been here is miraculous."
Hoxton Apprentice, owned by the Training for Life charity, was co-founded by social entrepreneur Gordon D'Silva and chef and restaurateur Prue Leith. Two more training restaurants have since opened in Dartmouth and Barking.
Hoxton Apprentice will be holding a special fundraising evening hosted by Prue Leith on 15 September. Food will be prepared by chef Anton Edelmann following a Champagne reception. Tables of eight are available from £1,500. For more information or to book email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 749 2809.