Fourteen trainee chefs from across the North West have joined the inaugural JW Lees Chef’s Academy at Trafford College.

Nominated by their Head Chefs and pub General Managers for their passion for food, fourteen candidates undertook interviews and selection days before being chosen. The talented group of trainee chefs will now spend two years working towards a NVQ Level 2 in Professional Cookery that will see them qualified and given enhanced opportunities for progression within JW Lees.

Anson Bolton, JW Lees Development Chef’ said: “The focus in our pubs is giving our customers delicious home-cooked pub food and providing our team members with the best career paths. The JW Lees Chef’s Academy has been created to recognise and harness the talents of our trainee chefs and to ensure they have the best support in developing careers with JW Lees. We’re fortunate to have some fantastic trainee chefs who are keen to take this opportunity and run with it.”

Andrea Plimmer, Director of Vocational Learning at Trafford College, said: “Trafford College is proud to be working with JW Lees in developing this unique training programme for their apprenticeships to develop the skills and knowledge the business needs to exceed customer expectations. The Hospitality team at Trafford College have an ethos of high expectations and professional standards within a supportive environment which we believe results in high standards of technical/vocational skills and excellent outcomes for learners. Part of the success is the staff who have excellent subject knowledge and motivate and engage learners in their technical skills which equips them for the world of work.”

Over the course of the Academy the chefs will work towards their NVQ level 2 with training supported by Trafford College and their experienced lecturers in their cutting edge training kitchens. The Academy also incorporates enrichment days where the chefs will receive guest chef cookery demonstrations, complete competitor analysis within other local businesses and also have the opportunity to visit local markets and our suppliers for an overview of how they support JW Lees getting their guests food onto their tables.

Adam Bloom, Trainee Chef at The Rose of Lancaster, Chadderton, said, “This is a great opportunity. My immediate focus is on completing the course but I really want a career working with food. I’ve always looked up to my former Head Chef, Bob Taylor, because he was very supportive, a great chef and brilliant teacher. In the future I’d love to be a Head Chef in a JW Lees pub and the course will expand my knowledge and give me the training to succeed. So far the course has been excellent, Trafford College have been outstanding, both the tutors and the facilities.”