Signature have the winning ingredient for students

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We’re proud to announce that Signature Catering’s James Gulliver has won Catering Apprentice of the Year at the first BAHA Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony.

BAHA (BH Area Hospitality Association) represent some of the finest hotels and accommodation providers in the country and teamed up with Bournemouth and Poole College to arrange an event to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of catering and hospitality apprentices in the BH area.

Events such as the awards are used to raise awareness of job opportunities and encourage others to pursue careers in the catering and hospitality industry as well as connect with local businesses to support the apprenticeship scheme.

James, who joined Signature Catering prior to his apprenticeship began his course at Bournemouth and Poole College after Signature Catering’s Director Ian Davey suggested they would sponsor his training. Ian understood that an apprenticeship would help to develop James’ skills, and help him to gain a recognised qualification in the industry after he himself had previously completed an apprenticeship in order to understand the process so his team could be better placed to support the young people that worked with them.

Having only started the course in April, James showed much promise and both the team at Signature and the tutors at the college wanted to formally recognise his efforts.

“We recognised James’ progression through training at the college and his work experience with us and what better way to show him how proud we were of his dedication and efforts than to put him forward for such an award.” Ian Davey, Director at Signature Catering.

James will complete his course in October 2020 after which he plans to go on to train for his Level 3 Chef de partie and then hopes to help develop the next generation of apprentices at Signature Catering.

Signature meanwhile plan to continue to support Bournemouth and Poole College through their apprenticeships and have already agreed to sponsor another student, truly believing that it is a great way for young people to gain an invaluable understanding of the industry by adding the practical element of a real working kitchen and environment. As part of their training, students get the opportunity to work at Seasons Restaurant at Moors Valley Country Park, part of the Signature portfolio, as well as working for the outside catering side of the business which often caters for weddings at exclusive venues such as Sopley Mill and large corporate functions.

Understanding that there is a shortage of chefs in the South, Signature also offer work opportunities to students with many going on to win awards and work in some of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants in the UK.

Chloe Carlton won the Institute of Hospitality Front of House Student of the Year 2018 award after spending a year working with Signature while studying at Bournemouth and Poole College and is now responsible for overseeing and developing events at Signature.

While Alex Whitwham who has worked as a chef for Signature while studying at the College, leaves the team after the summer to further his career as a specialised chef, gaining experience in some of London’s top restaurants and kitchens.

“Working with Signature has really encouraged me to work hard to ensure that I push myself to the best of my capabilities. It has really opened my eyes to the industry, and they have given me amazing opportunities to experience different types of service styles and food. I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. It’s thanks to Signature and the College that I’ve been able to build my skills to such a high level and their faith in me has helped with my confidence.” Alex Whitewham.

For further information on how you can help Bournemouth and College via the apprenticeship scheme please contact Claire Clark. www.signaturecateringco.co.uk / www.thecollege.co.uk