The latest recruits to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall have officially started their apprenticeship after successful training at Cornwall College Camborne.

For the last four months the recruits have been completing a Level 1 catering qualification at the college, which has fully prepared them for their training programme at the renowned restaurant at Watergate Bay.

Tracy Page, the programme manager for Fifteen at Cornwall College, said: “For the last few months the students have been preparing for this moment, to enter a professional level course. We train them alongside the team at Fifteen Cornwall, they do four days at the restaurant and one day at college. 

“We have some interesting characters and a lot of talent, and after nine years we have a good mechanism to deliver the right training for the apprentices.  The whole process has evolved and we have produced some great success stories.”

Fifteen Cornwall is owned by the Cornwall Food Foundation which was set up to give young people in Cornwall a platform to discover their true potential. The charity says their mission is to inspire people in Cornwall through food and enable those in greatest need to achieve meaningful, sustained change through training, employment and better life opportunities – while adding value to the local economy.

Lauren Martin from Camelford, one the new apprentices, said: “This is an amazing, life changing opportunity.  The journey so far has been really intense; the initial training was a steep learning curve but it feels amazing.  It is slightly overwhelming to be given an opportunity like this, but I’m determined to make this work because I would like to become a chef on a cruise ship.”

Each apprentice undertakes 16 months of practical training, along with hands-on experience at the restaurant at Watergate Bay, and will hope to leave with skills and qualifications to help them fit into any restaurant. 

Pijay Timony from Newquay, another of the new apprentices, said: “This is totally amazing and game changing; the last few months have been really, really intense.  We have gone from knowing nothing, to learning so many techniques for different types of food.  I feel so prepared and proud to be a part of this, I want to be a positive role model to my daughter and to be able to give her a better quality of life.”