Kim Woodward, chef

Kim Woodward, chef

The key ingredient to making a success

Apprenticeships are an ideal option for getting a foot in the door, says Gordon Ramsey Group chef Kim Woodward

Everyone has to start somewhere but that doesn’t mean that you have to settle at the bottom rung of the ladder. Make smart choices about where you want to study your craft. Go after those restaurants, chefs and companies that inspire and excite you. The most important thing, though, is to make a start and to seek out opportunities – you never know where the road will lead. As a young person, you need to seek out the avenues that lead to your dreams, and in the tough, dynamic yet rewarding industry of hospitality, it pays to grab every opportunity you can.

Within the Gordon Ramsay Group, we work with the University of West London to offer an apprenticeship programme. In addition to giving young people a chance to learn the craft, which is good for the business, the apprenticeship programme also gives something back to the community, creating opportunities for passionate and driven local people to train. Participants can then sustain a career from basic skills that they will learn and never lose; it’s an invaluable investment for both parties.

It’s always a real confidence boost to look back at where you started and relish the fact that, with determination and hard work, you’ve achieved so much. I certainly feel that way, I’ve wanted to be a chef since I was 16 years old and I’ve hit so many of my goals already. That, in turn, fuels me to set the bar even higher now, and achieve the dreams and goals I never thought were possible.

With all the hard graft it takes to make it into a job that you love, you really need to live in the moment, enjoy the life of a chef and appreciate each day that you’re fulfilling your passion.

Apprenticeships are the ideal option to get that first foot in the door. They allow trainees to work their way through the sections of respected restaurants and busy kitchens, building up confidence and enabling them to be ready for real-life situations that come filled with pressure and expectation.

It’s a stepping-stone to a culinary career and once your apprenticeship is complete, then your success really starts to snowball and the long-term earning potential is quite outstanding.

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