Young Chef Apprenticeship Scheme - apply now!

Young Chef Apprenticeship Scheme

Our multi award winning apprenticeship scheme is now open to 16-24 year old, unemployed school leavers that have the ambition and desire to become a chef.

Gain a professional cookery level 2 apprenticeship with River Cottage and give yourself the best possible start to your career in food. This unique and nationally celebrated programme involves successful applicants completing 24 training days, over the course of 12 months, at River Cottage HQ with our professional Chef Tutors.

When not attending the sessions at River Cottage, you will be working at some of the best restaurants and hotels across the South West. The combination of training, working and in-business tutorials is what will enable you to gain your qualification. This programme is free of charge to all applicants who meet the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Criteria

• Be between the ages of 16-24
• Dedicated to pursue a career as a chef
• Have the appetite and desire to see the programme through, from start to finish
• Not in any other form of education
• Can work a minimum of 30 hours per week in the business you are placed
• Attend 24 days training at River Cottage HQ, Park Farm
• Complete monthly coursework on time and to the best of your ability
• Be flexible, hardworking and prepared to work some evenings and weekends
• You are eligible to work in the UK
• You have been a resident in the UK continuously for the last 3 years

We have programmes commencing in June 2014 and September 2014.

So, if you want to build your culinary skills and get qualified with one of the country’s most respected food brands, apply now.

Apply now for the River Cottage Young Chef Apprentice Scheme


How many hours will I be working per week?
You will be working a minimum of 30 hours each week. This is averaged out over the course of the scheme. For example, in the summer period you may do an average of 40 hours per week, but in the winter this might be closer to 20 hours per week.

How much will I get paid?
We ask that each business partner should pay approximately £1 more per hour than the national minimum hourly rate for apprentices. This is a minimum of £3.50 per hour.

Where will I be working?
We will try and place you in a great business as local to your home address as possible. This is not an exact science and sometimes you may need to travel up to 45 minutes to get to work.

What happens when I finish the apprenticeship?
You will have the option to complete a further 12 months with River Cottage and complete an advanced apprenticeship. You will also have the option to secure permanent employment within a restaurant of your choice (normal recruitment processes apply).

What do I have to do other than attend the training and work in a partner business?
You will have regular coursework that needs to be completed. There is also testing throughout the process.

Who pays for travel and/or accommodation?
You would need to be based within the South West area to take part in the scheme, however if you aren't this does not stop you applying, but you would need to be willing to relocate.  Any travel or accommodation costs are the learner’s responsibility.

  • Support, personal development and guidance makes our @rivercottage #apprentices flourish. link link
  • @CSWExeter Thanks - and you :)
  • @CSWExeter great - so would we. Email harry.wild@rivercottage .net, I'll show you our pigs :-)
  • @CSWExeter you're a wonderful bunch - support most appreciated! When are you coming to see us here at HQ?
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  • **TONIGHT** #Apprenticeship open evening here at @rivercottage HQ. 6.30pm - 8.30pm. Please share! link
  • Pop the kettle on and watch our amazing Rising Star 2014 entries! Last chance to cast your vote now: link
  • 3. Our employers pay £1 more than national apprenticeship minimum wage. link
  • 2. We find you a work placement that shares our ethics (and then support you every step of the way) link
  • 1. You don't need any existing qualifications to apply: link
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  • Support the next round of future chefs by casting your vote for our Rising Star! Voting closes today link
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  • RT @rivercottage: Voting has just opened for this year’s Rising Star competition. See all the entrants here and pick your best!…
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  • RT @GardenerFinch: Last apprentice places @rivercottage @rcchefsschool link link
  • Our Rising Star competition has now closed but you can still train for an #Apprenticeship at River Cottage. link
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  • Amazing Rising Star entry from @Biff_Stancombe! Looks incredible. Watch and upload your own: link
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