Often, the best experience is 'on the job', when developing skills and honing a craft, working with experienced professionals offers a whole wealth of knowledge and hands-on involvement which cannot be replicated in a classroom.
During Apprenticeship week (4th - 8th March) we caught up with Alex Loveland, a previous Ashdown Park apprentice who is now our junior sous-chef.
Alex successfully completed a three-year Specialised Chefs Scholarship apprenticeship and she was named ‘Student of the Year’ by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts when she graduated in 2018.
Speaking about the training and support offered throughout her apprenticeship, Alex said:
“The best thing about my course and being placed at Ashdown Park has been the experience and independence I've gained.
Under supervision, I have been able to build trust in my abilities with the Executive Head Chef and therefore work my way up to run sections. This has provided me with such a unique insight and chance to learn – something which many chefs my age have never had. I've understood the real sense of pressure and organisation required, in addition to skill, to run a successful kitchen – all while continuing to learn myself."
We work closely with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Specialised Chefs Scholarship programme. There is a shortage of chefs so it's a joy to help inspire and encourage new professionals.
Apprentices taking part in this programme will study on-site at Bournemouth & Poole College at the start of their course, before beginning their placement – which at Ashdown Park Hotel includes staff accommodation on site. The remainder of the course is primarily practical, supported by occasional lectures and learning support from the college.
Our General Manager Ben Booker was pleased to comment:
"Alex has been a real success story for Ashdown Park’s apprenticeship programme and highlights the quality of learning that our apprentices experience. The whole team, from management to part-time staff, take great pride in providing an encouraging and supportive setting, for apprentices to gain a deep understanding of the hard work that goes into running a hotel.”
People development and the encouragement of young talent are key to the Ashdown Park ethos. Our longer-serving staff play an important role in supporting and leading newer members of the team, whether through apprenticeship schemes, work experience placements or as new, full-time staff members.
We welcome apprenticeships for other departments too, including our Estate Team and Accountancy. Photographed right is Sam, our Accounts Apprentice.
For more information about careers at Ashdown Park Hotel please CLICK HERE.
Find out about the National Apprenticeship Week. CLICK HERE.
You may also be interested in the following blogs:
Springboard Award 2018/2019
Work Experience in our Kitchens