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An apprenticeship was handy for Andy’s move from pub grub to fine dining

Undergoing an apprenticeship is about much more than just gaining a qualification – it’s about gaining skills and competencies – as Torquay-based chef Andy Yarde can attest.

Andy completed a Level 3 Production Chef apprenticeship last year, along with his Level 2 Functional Skills. Both were mentored and supervised by Swatpro Academy’s Del Anning.

“During my studies with Swatpro Academy I was able to consider what I wanted from my future career as a chef,” Andy explains.

“I am passionate about testing out new dishes and I wanted to raise my game to the next level of cooking.”

He was certainly already a very busy man when he commenced the courses: Working as head chef in a popular village pub and delivering high-quality food from pub classics to daily specials for customers. Andy also planned and cooked themed food events, catered for weddings and seasonal party nights.

Lockdown temporarily closed down hospitality, but using distance learning techniques and his own kitchen, Andy was able to continue studying with Del, finally qualifying in June, 2021.

“Gaining this qualification gave me the confidence to seek the right job for me and to help push forward my career, and improve my cooking skills,” he says.

“Del was incredibly supportive to encourage me to do well in my qualification, but also mentored me on how I could apply these skills to gaining desired employment, in a different food establishment, always reminding me of my capabilities, skill and talent.

“This I am very grateful for, because for some it’s about getting a piece of paper, but for me it was more about what I could gain from Del’s experience and what I could learn from the qualification to help me progress.”

Expanding his skill base and boosting his confidence, helped Andy to land a job in a fine dining establishment, the Brasserie at the Bay, which is based in the upmarket Meadfoot Bay Hotel in Torquay.

“I am learning new techniques in cheffing, that are taking my skills to the next level - providing a high-quality standard of food in a renowned, award-winning restaurant,” he notes.

The ending of the course is not the end of Andy’s association with Swatpro Academy however, as Del, like all of the organisation’s expert trainers, likes to continue to mentor and monitor the career successes of his charges.

“After completion of my qualification Del has followed up with me to ensure I have received my certificates and that things are going well.

“I like the fact that support continues after your learning programme has ended and this is valuable off boarding experience. Thank you Swatpro Academy and Del for the continuation of support!”

For our part, Swatpro Academy looks forward to watching – and tasting – Andy’s chef work in the future.

An apprenticeship was handy for Andy’s move from pub grub to fine dining