This week I have had the pleasure in meeting three 16 year old apprentices who this summer finished school and started an apprenticeship with Umbrella Training.


I found them all to be excited, passionate and eager to learn about becoming chefs. They talk strongly about wanting to learn, soaking up every word I say about the industry and asking great questions.

The three are very novice in their skills and capabilities at the moment, but with the right employer, training provider plus a supportive mentor, they will go far and soon become experts and gain their Commis Chef apprenticeship, along with that all important status of being a qualified chef.

This week has really lifted my spirits as I can see bright home grown talent entering our industry. Umbrella Training and their employers will take good care of them, give them first-rate training, expose them to some remarkable experiences and get them ready for a career as a chef.


But we need more young people like these three entering the industry, we all need to get out of our businesses and into schools to promote our trade if we are to solve this skills shortage. As we are faced with uncertain times with Brexit and the movement of labour, now is a time, more than ever to act.  So as schools start to return this September, reach out to them, make contact and volunteer your time to go in and talk with students, teachers and parents about how great hospitality careers are. Not sure how to do this – contact The Springboard Charity and become a industry Ambassador.

A new book has just been published called Star Quality Talent: Inspiring Hospitality Careers, which follows the careers of hospitality professionals from humble beginnings to where the industry has led them. It gives tips on how to get ahead and move from a stagnant job to having a fulfilling career, a great way to inspire future talent.

You could also join us at Skills London in November where we will be working with employers to showcase careers and apprenticeships using Virtual Reality with our #VRhotel or join us in March 2019 on our London Routemaster bus that will visit schools and promote hospitality apprenticeships. Both events are aimed directly at young people who are looking for options once they finish school or college. Let’s give them hospitality as an option – if we don’t tell them about us they won’t come looking for us!

The future can be bright, but we need to work at it together!

Is it time for you to #ComeUnderOurUmbrella ?

Sam Coulstock FIH
Business Relations Director

Share This