Culinary apprenticeship is Molly’s recipe for success
A disappointment on results day can seem like the end of the world, but for Molly Griffin it made her reassess her options and find a route to her dream career.
Molly stayed on to sixth form at Monmouth School, where she completed AS Levels in psychology, maths, biology and the Welsh Baccalaureate. However, when her results weren’t as good as she hoped, she decided to embark on an apprenticeship with Gloucestershire College and hasn’t looked back.
She said: “After a year of sixth form I didn’t do as well as I hoped in my AS Levels, which I now realise was because I wasn’t very interested in what I was studying and my heart wasn’t in it.
“I have always been passionate about baking and cooking from a very young age – even as a little girl I wanted to be a chef when I grew up! We were told about apprenticeships at school and many of my friends have gone on to do them, so after talking to them I decided an apprenticeship was the best option for me, as I could gain catering industry experience as well as a qualification.”
Molly leapt at the opportunity to complete her apprenticeship at Tudor Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant in the Forest of Dean, where she works as a commis chef under the guidance of the award winning head chef Rob Cox. As part of her apprenticeship, the 18-year-old is working towards an NVQ Level 2 in Professional Cookery at the Gloucestershire College Royal Forest of Dean Campus.
Molly said: “I knew I wanted to do my apprenticeship at a reputable establishment, where I would learn to cook with fresh, high quality produce, so when the Tudor Farmhouse advertised for an apprentice I jumped at the opportunity.
“My day-to-day tasks consist of preparing and cooking food for customers, as well as prep work to ensure that everything is ready for service and the smooth running of the kitchen. My main station is starters, but I sometimes venture into desserts.
“My employers Hari and Colin chose Gloucestershire College for my apprenticeship because it offered great teaching and resources, as well as being local. The support I have received from the College and my assessor Rachel, to personalise my apprenticeship, has been great.”
Tudor Farmhouse owner, Hari Fell said: “Molly is an integral part of our kitchen team and has made a valuable contribution from day one.
“One of the main benefits of hiring an apprentice has been the chance to train someone in our ways of doing things, while giving them the chance to work alongside all of our chefs to produce locally sourced, freshly prepared and seasonal food – the apprenticeship has formalised this.
“Providing training in this way means that we will have more highly qualified people within the industry, and hopefully staff who will stay with our company for longer.”
National statistics reveal that 7 in 10 apprentices remain in a role with their employer once their apprenticeship ends, with a quarter promoted within 12 months. Molly is no exception, having made such an impression at Tudor Farmhouse that she has been offered a permanent position once she has completed her apprenticeship.
She said: “I’m thankful that Tudor Farmhouse saw the potential in me and have learned so much since I started my apprenticeship.
“I haven’t decided what my next step will be, however I know I would like to go on to specialise in patisserie and hope to have my own business specialising in cakes and pastries in the future.
“My apprenticeship is helping me work towards this goal, by giving me the experience and knowledge I need to be successful.”
Find out more about apprenticeships at Gloucestershire College at: www.gloscol.ac.uk/apprenticeships