Train for qualifications and get hands-on experience with an apprenticeship at St Catherine’s Hospice
College students are getting hands-on experience working at St Catherine’s Hospice through valuable apprenticeship schemes based at the charity and business.
Learning valuable practical skills in the hospice’s busy kitchen and public café, The Mill, the students are enhancing their future career prospects whilst also contributing to the important work of a much-loved local charity.
The teenagers, who attend Leyland’s Runshaw College, are training on the job and studying for qualifications in hospitality and catering as they split their time between college and the hospice.
And St Catherine’s now wants to hear from other students interested in the exciting opportunity, as they recruit to fill another role of Kitchen Service Apprentice, again based at the hospice and The Mill.
Alex Cook, 17, from Lostock Hall, is working towards his professional cookery level 2, and has been at St Catherine’s for a year.
He says: “I came across the application form online and when I came for an interview, I found out more about how the job involves working at The Mill as well as the hospice kitchen. I thought it would just involve cooking for patients, but it’s much more diverse than that.
“I’ve learnt a lot since I started here, especially about speed and timings, and how to adapt to a working kitchen. The Mill is especially busy and I’m getting a lot of service experience, such as plating up the meals so they all look the same. And my work in the hospice kitchen is more about food prep.”
Alex, who attended St Cecilia’s RC High School in Longridge, originally studied maths and accounting at college, but wasn’t enjoying the experience.
Now, he has ambitions to continue developing his learning and achieve a level 3 qualification, and his dream is to become head chef of his own restaurant one day.
“From when I left school, I knew this was really what I wanted to do,” he says. “I’m learning about things I’m really interested in. My favourite part is making the cakes for The Mill. I’ve learnt more about cakes here in two months than I ever knew before!”
He adds: “I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship; it has been the best decision of my life. You earn money and become more independent. It’s great!”
Emma Lyon, 19, from Leyland, started an apprenticeship at St Catherine’s after previously trying college courses in childcare and hairdressing.
She’s now studying for a level 2 qualification in hospitality and catering, and gaining real-life experience working as a café assistant in the vibrant Mill within the grounds of St Catherine’s Park.
“I felt that an apprenticeship would benefit me more than a full-time college course,” she says. “I learn better when I’m actually doing the work.
“I’ve worked in a coffee shop before and really enjoyed it, so when I heard about this opportunity, I decided to apply for it.
“I serve food, make coffee, and use the tills. I’m getting experience, learning on the job, and I’m enjoying the work because it’s so hands-on.”
Nicola Hanmer, commercial catering manager at St Catherine’s Hospice and The Mill, recommended apprenticeship schemes for the benefits they can bring to the organisation as well as the individual.
She says: “St Catherine’s and The Mill pride ourselves on being full and active members of our local community; investing in apprenticeships is another way we do this. We are helping the next generation to learn new skills and progress in their chosen career, all while earning a wage and contributing to the success of a much-loved charity and social enterprise.”
She added: “The diversity of the role we can offer in the catering department is another advantage – giving apprentices on-the-job training in a host of different areas, from catering for outside events and working in a busy café, to preparing nutritious and sometimes specially adapted meals for our patients.
“We are proud to offer apprenticeship opportunities here and would certainly recommend it to other employers – apprentices bring enthusiasm and new ideas and, if they have a positive experience, could remain a valued member of your workplace for many years to come once their training is complete.”
– The Hospice is currently looking to appoint another apprentice within the catering department to train as a kitchen assistant. The successful candidate will work alongside a dedicated team of catering staff as well as attending college one day a week to gain an NVQ qualification.
Contact Nicola on 01772 629171 for an informal chat about the role.
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