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HIT Training marks National Apprenticeship Week with a pop-up pizza kitchen

Posted on 22 March, 2019


Group Photo at St Luke's

To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2019, HIT Training, the apprenticeship provider of choice in the hospitality industry, hosted a pop-up pizza kitchen. Held in partnership with charity, St Luke’s Parochial Trust, the event took place at St Luke’s Community Centre in South Islington on Tuesday 5 March. 

The pizza kitchen (headed up by Academy Principal Paul Mannering), was voluntarily staffed by apprentices studying with HIT Training, volunteers from St Luke’s, four of HIT Training’s Chef Academy leads and HIT London Operations Manager, Simon Lewis. 

The team created and served over 250 pizzas free of charge to over 350 hungry and deserving people, supporting local charities and community groups. These included MenCap, St John’s, SoapBox, a Young Person’s shelter at Liverpool Street, a women’s refuge, St Mungo’s (for delivery to the homeless) and of course, the team from St Luke’s Community Centre and its visitors. 

Making Pizzas

Three different flavoured pizzas were on offer; pepperoni, margarita and a vegetarian option. All of which were created using a pizza recipe taken from HIT Training’s Production Chef Academy Workshop, better known as the ‘seven a day pizza’ and cooked in St Luke’s wood-fired pizza oven. The recipe has been developed for school kitchen chefs as a way of getting children to eat healthier and consists of a base tomato sauce containing the following seven key ingredients: onion, garlic, carrot, leek, green pepper, courgette and tomato. 

Talking about the pop-up pizza kitchen event, Simon Lewis, Operations Manager at HIT Training London, said: “National Apprenticeship Week is all about celebrating the opportunities available for people to learn and develop new skills and I believe the lessons our apprentices learnt will be priceless. Not only did they get to experience working in a high-pressured, live kitchen environment, without all the tools they may expect in a professional kitchen, they learnt a valuable life lesson in using their skills to help others. 

“The work that St Luke’s Community Centre does, as well as all the other charities we met, is invaluable to the local community. To be able to support them, even for just one day was a gift and gave myself and the rest of the team a different perspective on food service”.

Sofia Larrinua, Central Street Cookery School Manager at St Luke’s added: “It was brilliant to work together with the staff and apprentices from HIT Training, whose hard work and delicious pizzas put a smile on so many local people’s faces in the EC1 area. The team worked brilliantly together with members of the Men’s Shed here at St Luke’s, who had a great day cooking and eating together as a community.”

Around the Pizza Oven

St Luke’s Community Centre is a welcoming, neighbourly community hub in south Islington, London. It provides a space for local people to gather and socialise, and for St Luke’s and other organisations to deliver services and activities to benefit the local community. These include a lunch club for the over 55s, a community café, an online centre, art & dance studios, kids’ clubs, a salon & therapy room, a unique cookery school, an employment hub, gardening and a variety of meeting rooms. 

To find out more about their great work, visit: www.slpt.org.uk

Click here for more information on the HIT Chef Academy.


It was great speaking to our account manager, Catherine, this afternoon and great to hear that HIT are being so supportive with our apprentices, I found the call very positive in a time of crisis, so thank you.

The Learner’s leaflet is great and being sent out to Apprentices and Line Managers following our communication last week providing a great follow up.

Jonathan Foot - Head of Apprenticeships, Compass Group

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

HIT Training has provided such an incredible support to us during lockdown, with regular webinar invitations, videocalls and engagement solutions. Our business focus shifted to learning and development and we managed to enrol 3 times more apprentices on training programmes than before!

Anastasia Talatzidou -L&D Manager, Gaucho


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