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Charlie Jeffreys, Chef at Yalbury Cottage, Dorchester

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With dreams of becoming a chef from a young age, 18 year old Charlie Jeffreys has followed a determined career path in order to fulfil his ambitions.  Four and a half years ago, Charlie started working as a KP at Yalbury Cottage near Dorchester in Dorset. He showed lots of enthusiasm in the kitchen and was soon helping the chefs with prep, making canapés and baking breads. When he turned 16 and had finished his exams at school, Charlie immediately enrolled onto the Intermediate Professional Cookery Apprenticeship.  

Charlie took a lot of inspiration from his employer Jamie Jones, and made sure he learned as much as he could from him while working at Yalbury Cottage. “Jamie has gone all over the world and has worked in every position in the kitchen,” explained Charlie. “His knowledge of cooking and running a business is extraordinary.” 

Charlie demonstrates his skills

After completing the intermediate level apprenticeship, Charlie went straight on to do the advanced level. “It is intense training and long hours,” said Charlie. “You learn everything from weighing meats to boning legs of lamb and sourcing local produce. I really feel like I’ve learnt everything about cooking – even the management side of it. I certainly feel as though I have gained lifelong skills.” As part of his training, Charlie got to spend two days on a work experience placement. The first day was spent at La Chapelle and the second at Galvin at Windows. “The work experience was organised for me by Jamie and it was a real eye opener to work with Chris and Jeff Galvin and their teams at the Michelin Starred La Chapelle and Windows in London. It was insane – totally different. I loved it!”

Now two years on, having completed the advanced level, Charlie has recently accepted a position as Commis Chef at The Dorchester Hotel in London and is now living in central London and He believes that without the training he received at Yalbury Cottage he would not be where he is now. “The apprenticeships are such an amazing route to take if you are thinking about a career as a chef. They teach you so much and give you that extra confidence boost when you receive your completion certificates. My HIT Trainer Assessor Hannah Nicholas was fantastic. She was always so helpful and got me through my units very efficiently. And of course Jamie was incredibly supportive throughout my time at Yalbury Cottage. Being taught by such a legend was an honour.” 

Find out more about our work with Jamie Jones at Yalbury Cottage


Testimonials

McMullen’s chose HIT as its sole external provider for Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in early 2015 and since then we have found them a pleasure to work with.  Their expertise in this sector is superior and they have proven to be a professional and supportive partner who have a passion for learning and development, which matches our own organisation.

Amanda Walden – Training & Recruitment Manager, McMullen's

Encouraging our staff to improve their skills set and supporting them through apprenticeships and training programmes underlines our commitment to help them further develop their own careers. Offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship also gives the Brend Group a point of difference which I’m convinced will help attract new members of staff in the future.

Andrew Mosedale - Group HR Manager, Brend Hotels

Our partnership with HIT has certainly made recruitment much easier in a very difficult labour market and gives us a point of difference in an increasingly competitive environment.  Kew Green has also benefited enormously from well trained, skilled and competent staff who contribute significantly to the ever improving and high levels of customer experience that our guests expect and deserve.

Andrew Tregenza - HR Business Partner, Kew Green Hotels

Apprenticeships allow us to give people a great opportunity to develop a career with us and learn a skill or trade that will accompany them throughout their career and life. We see progression to the Level 4 qualification as key to our strategy of providing development at all stages of an employee’s career with Harrison.

Alex Taylor - Training Manager, Harrison Catering Services

We chose HIT as our training provider not only because of their specialist knowledge of the hospitality industry, but also because of their genuine passion for our brand and their understanding of our company culture. We believe that they can deliver our training to a very high standard whilst passing on our company ethos and values. Their attention to detail is second to none.

Charlotte Thoms, Talent Manager, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group

There is a shortage of skilled chefs within in our industry at present and any organisation that truly believes in the value of training and development of bright future stars will enable themselves to be in a strong position for the years ahead. Investing in smart training and development is at the heart of what we do within WSH, so it has been refreshing to work alongside HIT within our Baxterstorey Chef Academy. 

Rik Razza - Head of Chef Development, BaxterStorey

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