Hospitality Apprenticeship North East, which has been delivering training programmes to young adults in Aberdeen City and Shire since 2020, has launched a dedicated professional cookery apprenticeship open for 16 to 25 year olds.

The Hospitality Apprenticeship North East Chef programme is supported by Opportunity North East and Skills Development Scotland, along with NEScol, which will provide masterclass elements of the apprenticeship and work-based assessors.


The apprenticeship leads to a City and Guilds level 5 qualification in professional cookery, with the opportunity to extend the apprenticeship to a City and Guilds level 6.

Apprentices will have the chance to take part in learning bites such as a trip to Peterhead Fish Market and butchery, stocks and sauces and pastry masterclasses.

Starter sets of knives for the apprentices are being provided to each participant thanks to sponsorship from Alliance and each will be provided with a uniform sponsored by Fishers.


Some participating hotels have live-in accommodation for suitable applicants. The scheme is open to 16 to 25 year olds already working in the sector as well as those new to the hospitality industry. Apprentices will start in Autumn 2022.


Chairman of Hospitality Apprenticeship North East, Stephen Gow says of the launch, “Very hands-on training on the job, mixed with the theory learned from the NEScol masterclass sessions are the perfect combination to equip young people with the right skills for their future career and for the future of hospitality.

“All of the hospitality partners involved understand how crucial it is to attract new, young talent to the industry and especially to the kitchen. Recruitment and retention challenges are a major concern for everyone in the sector at the moment, but the Hospitality Apprenticeship North East partners are determined to be proactive and to find, train and support the best in young talent in Aberdeen and Shire. All of our new apprentices will be paid at the national minimum wage for their age and not at the lower apprenticeship rate.”


Jennifer Craw, chief executive of Opportunity North East, said: “It’s great to be part of this new career pathway into hospitality for aspiring chefs to help attract the critical skills the sector needs for growth. ONE has worked with businesses and partners since 2019 to co-create and deliver the industry-leading Hospitality Apprenticeship North East programme, getting young people into rewarding careers. This proven private sector led approach is now entering an exciting new phase.”


Businesses participating in the professional cookery apprenticeship include Jurys Inn, McGinty’s Group, The Park Inn and The Chester Hotel in Aberdeen. The Fife Arms in Braemar, Thainstone House by Inverurie, Meldrum House at Oldmeldrum, Banchory Lodge, Douneside House by Tarland and Maryculter House are also taking part.


More about the apprenticeship, including how to apply, can be found at


Applicants must be under 25 at the time of starting the apprenticeship

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