Lifetime Training: Aiden Wakelam

Aiden Wakelam, 22, enrolled on a commis chef level 2 apprenticeship through Lifetime Training and Mitchells & Butlers when he knew he ‘didn’t want to go to university’ and was keen to ‘start a career’

“I was studying at college and working part-time for an agency. I knew I didn’t want to go to university, but I was not quite sure what my next step should be. I wanted to start a career and enter an industry with real progression. I dreamed of owning my own restaurant, but first I needed to start with the basics, learn how a busy kitchen runs and work towards becoming a chef. So when I was offered the opportunity to attend an open day at Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), I knew immediately it was right for me.”

“When I first joined M&B, I had no cooking experience. The apprenticeship brought me out my shell completely, teaching me to communicate within a team, whilst also improving my technical skills in the kitchen.”

“I chose the level 2 commis chef apprenticeship programme ‘Chefs’ Academy’ so I could work in a busy local business, whilst attending masterclasses twice monthly with award-winning chefs creating fresh food.”

“At masterclasses, I learnt about fresh-food cooking including exciting modules such as butchery and game, whilst back in business, I learnt on my feet. I was covering shifts, working on starters, mains, and desserts: creating meals to spec, taking deliveries and ensuring health and safety.”

“My aim is to grab all the opportunities M&B offers me. I’m about to start kitchen team leader training with further responsibility, and then my aim is to become a kitchen manager. I would also like to trial different M&B brands, there is so much opportunity here to try different food offerings and maybe even move around the country too!”

Jason Busby, general manager, said: “Aiden is an inspiration to all young people to get into work and make things happen. And that would be my advice to anyone considering a hospitality apprenticeship—make your own future! My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship would be go for it!”

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