Press release: Only one month left to apply for Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall 2017 Apprentice Programme

There’s only one month left to apply for the Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall 2017 Apprentice Programme.

The Cornwall Food Foundation, which runs the Jamie Oliver Fifteen Cornwall Restaurant and the Apprentice programme also welcomes applications from relatives or partners on behalf of others.  They pay the national apprentice wage of £3.30 per hour, plus tips and provide apprentices with free transport to & from work, as well as a free college bus pass.

The Apprentice Programme, now in its 11th year, consists of:

  • 5 months full-time training at Cornwall College
  • 4 weeks work experience in high quality kitchens
  • one year in the Fifteen Cornwall kitchen

Key to its success is a unique welfare support programme that helps young people access the programme, stay on board and overcome any personal barriers.

To apply, candidates should be living in Cornwall, aged between 16 and 24, and in need of a second chance. They should not be in full-time employment, education or training.

This year’s graduates bring to 180-plus the number of young chefs the foundation and Fifteen have successfully trained. Some have found other jobs, usually in catering, but over 80% are still cheffing, many in prestigious establishments.

Senior Sous Chef and Training Manager Karl Jones said:

The employment success rate of the graduates is extremely high – the majority have gone on to great careers, from working in high profile kitchens to becoming head chefs. Some even own their own businesses. After graduating we encourage our young chefs to fly the nest and help them seek employment outside of Fifteen. However after gaining suitable experience several chefs have returned to us as trainers, and have proved invaluable to the programme.

During a typical apprentice year students will cover all sections of the busy kitchen, from making Fifteen Cornwall’s signature fresh pasta, to prepping ingredients, pastry, sauce and the josper grill. During this time they are assessed for their level of competency, before moving on to the next section.

Apprentices also visit many of Fifteen Cornwall’s specialist suppliers during their apprenticeship, picking up first- hand knowledge of the produce before it reaches the back door of the kitchen.

This challenging yet inspirational course is aimed at young people who are in need of a second chance, to help them gain qualifications, and who are looking to start an exciting new career.

Steven Daniels, 24 from Newquay, graduate and Apprentice of the year – Cohort 9 said:

“Before Fifteen Cornwall I was doing nothing. By doing the programme, I hoped to get a career, find myself and be more confident. Everyone at Fifteen is really nice and the course is set up really well with all the sourcing trips and the welfare stuff during the summer. It’s made me a lot more confident and has given me opportunities to get work; I literally would never even have gone for an interview before. My family and my mates are really proud– they like telling other people what I’m up to. I’ve learnt that I can open up and be confident and that I can stand on the front of an open kitchen and cook food and not worry about it or be too scared. Coming into the restaurant was a massive scary thing for me, I managed to overcome it and now I’m smashing it!” (Steven took up work experience at Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa in London at the end of his course in 2015 and was offered a full time job there, where he worked until he returned to Cornwall to rejoin Fifteen Cornwall, but this time as a professional trainer chef.)

Thinking of applying – or know of someone you’d like to apply on their behalf?

Are you:
Not in employment, education or training? …
Aged 16-24? …
Do you live in Cornwall?…
Have an interest in cooking and food?
… Ever thought about becoming a chef?

If this sounds like you, or someone you know, or you have any questions about the programme, please contact one of the team using the details below (please note unfortunately we cannot accept anyone who has an NVQ Level 2 or higher in Catering or Professional Cookery):

If you would like to learn more about the Fifteen Cornwall apprentice programme click here or email [email protected] or telephone 01637 861000 opt 2.  Alternatively, you will also find us at the Newquay Fish Festival (16th to 18th September) and at the Great Cornwall Food Festival in Truro (23rd to 25th September) if you would like to speak to us in person.


Editors notes:

– Please contact us for further graduate case studies
– Opportunities for interview with CEO Matthew Thomson

Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall opened it’s doors 10 years ago in 2016.

Statistics – 10 years on:

  • 184 apprentices have been recruited to our kitchen
  • 112 Chefs have completed the Fifteen Cornwall Apprentice Programme
  • 91% of graduates remain employed
  • 80% are still working as chefs
  • Business created 70 year-round jobs in hospitality
  • Over £22 million into the Cornish economy through wages and food-spend
  • Over £4 million invested in training and support of disadvantaged young people (restaurant profits topped up by independent funding)

About the Cornwall Food Foundation:

While best known for managing the Fifteen Cornwall Apprentice Programme and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant, the Cornwall Food Foundation is an ever evolving charity using food to ignite change. The Foundation believes food skills are life skills that can unlock the true potential of the most challenged individual. Their ambition is to work with people and food to improve the economy, environment and health of Cornwall, running great training programmes, developing community food skills and strengthening the local food system.

This year they have worked with over 40 teachers and given over 1300 primary school children healthy cooking lessons, going out to 20 schools and welcoming 18 schools back to Fifteen. Engaging with children is a massive part of what they do and they’ve been really pleased to be able to share Jamie’s Kitchen Garden Project resources with 49 schools across Cornwall too. They want every child in Cornwall to know to grow food, cook food and make money from food.

How to support:

Visit the restaurant or donate directly via

Find out more:



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01637 861000 E: [email protected]

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Fifteen Cornwall Limited • Registered in England • Company No: 05653435 • Registered Office: On the Beach, Watergate Bay, TR8 4AA