Homeless Trainees Graduate at PwC-Backed Cookery School

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 Print Email

The first batch of former homeless trainees has graduated from a PwC-supported apprenticeship scheme at Brigade Bar and Bistro.

The private-public-third sector initiative, the Fire Station, enabled 11 apprentices to spend six months studying at Southwark College, while working at Brigade in London Bridge.

The trainees were part of the United Kitchen Apprentices programme run by social entrepreneur Simon Boyle's Beyond Food Foundation, and qualified with a NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery.

PwC provided a mentoring service throughout the experience, offering CV and interview workshops, with the majority now in full time employment at venues such as the Hilton London Bridge and Carluccio's.

Simon Boyle, Chef Founder, Beyond Food Foundation said: ‘I don't think any of the team realised how much they had achieved until they graduated today.

‘It's a major achievement for everyone involved, not just the apprentices, and it has not been without its challenges. It marks a line in the sand between what's gone before, and their future as qualified, highly skilled craftsmen in food.’

Paul Cleal, partner, PwC added: ‘It was a long road to get the Fire Station business centre project delivered, but to see the impact on the trainees, in such a short space of time, has made every second worthwhile. Brigade is the beating heart of the project to support social enterprise, and offers a sustainable opportunity for people to transform their lives. It's a powerful example of social enterprise in action.’

A second cohort of trainees have now joined Brigade, the next stage of a 145 place apprenticeship and work experience programme.

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