Catering and Professional Chefs (England)

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Framework details

Framework ID: FR02575
Issue number: 6
Issued: 31 January 2014

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Catering and Professional Chefs (England)
(PDF document 4.70 MB)

Issued by
People 1st

Contact name: Jo Parker
Telephone number: 01895 817000
Please download the framework for email contact information.


Defining Apprenticeships

An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. This broader mix differentiates the Apprenticeship experience from training delivered to meet narrowly focused job needs.

All apprentices commencing their Apprenticeship must have an Apprenticeship Agreement between the employer and the apprentice. This can be used to reinforce the understanding of the requirements of the Apprenticeship.

On completion of the Apprenticeship, the apprentice must be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the industry.

The Catering Industry

The Catering Industry covers hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars and nightclubs, contract catering, holiday centres and school catering. It operates across well known chains and in small businesses, including owner/operators, which make up just under three quarters of employers. The hotel and catering industry as a whole is a big employer and contributes around £30bn to the English economy each year, with the restaurant industry alone employing two thirds of a million people.

The industry is facing a number of key challenges to make sure that staff have the right skills and, once trained, that they stay and develop their skills to fulfill their career ambitions, contributing to increased productivity and business profitability. The key challenges which this framework will help to address include:

  • although the industry is well known for providing training, only 3% of the training leads to formal qualifications which are nationally recognised and this is likely to have had an impact on staff motivation and retention;
  • the industry finds it difficult to attract people who have the right skills for the job, mainly because there is a perception that the sector provides casual jobs, but does not offer long-term career opportunities. This leads to high staff turnover and increased costs on the business to replace those who leave or retire;
  • whilst the industry employs a high percentage of young staff and the average age of a manager is under 30 years old in parts of the industry, over half of these managers do not have formal qualifications for their job;
  • chef skills are in short supply, with increasing consumer demand for meals which are cooked from scratch using fresh ingredients in mainstream restaurants and pubs and for specialist skills for those working in Asian and Oriental cuisines;
  • the industry relies on excellent customer service to provide a welcoming and pleasant experience for customers and these skills need to be improved so that customers continue to come back;
  • the industry needs to make the most of the talent pool in order to represent its customer base, by attracting more people from diverse backgrounds into the catering industry.

Employer support for the Catering and Professional Chefs Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3 are seen as critical by employers, trade associations and professional bodies as they provide a ready-made high quality programme which they have helped to design and which gives them the skills they need at these levels. These Apprenticeships will encourage entry into the industry, attracting those from diverse groups and provide progression pathways into higher level jobs and Apprenticeships to upskill the workforce at this level where currently over half do not have formal qualifications for their job. 

Employers have been supporting apprentices in the Hospitality and Catering sectors for a number of years with around 24,000 starts at level 2 and 5,000 starts at level 3 each year in England.

Specific job roles for Intermediate Level Apprentices in Catering and Professional Chefs:

  • Food Production and Cooking - kitchen assistant helping with food preparation, school cook, cook or chef preparing, cooking and serving meals, including large volume meals;
  • Professional Cookery - Craft and Commis Chef in fine dining or casual dining settings or as Chef/Cook specialising in a range of Asian, Oriental and other cuisines;
  • Craft Cuisine - Commis Chef, Demi Chef or Chef de Partie producing a wide variety of dish types and ingredients. 

Specific job roles for Advanced Level Apprentices in Catering and Professional Chefs:

  • Professional Cookery - Sous Chef/Cook or Senior Chef/Cook specialising in fine dining, casual dining in restaurants, hotels and gastro pubs;
  • Patisserie and Confectionery - Pastry Chef
  • Craft Cuisine - Sous Chef or Senior Chef preparing and finishing food from scratch for a wide variety of dish types and ingredients.


Download framework

Catering and Professional Chefs (England)
(PDF document 4.70 MB)