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James Street South launches Apprentice Programme

Niall McKenna, who was awarded the Tourism Hero award at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards this month, is joined by Tourism Minister Arlene Foster and Belfast Met’s Lead Training Manager Heather Hedley.
Rebecca Kincade on June 20, 2014 - 10:19 am in News

One of Belfast’s leading restaurateurs is launching an Apprentice Programme for aspiring chefs. Niall McKenna, owner of James Street South, The Bar & Grill and Hadskis, is offering successful hopefuls the chance to work with an award winning team.

The search is now on for eight apprentices, aged between 16 and 24 who have the drive and enthusiasm to develop their skills and learn everything they can from some of the best chefs in Northern Ireland during the year-long placement.

Niall, who was recently named Northern Ireland Tourism Hero at the prestigious NI Tourism Awards, said the Programme is an investment in the future of world-class hospitality here.

“This is geared for aspiring chefs who have the determination to succeed, learning from leaders in the industry and cooking with local produce to create the dining experience that James Street South is famous for.

“Our apprentices will receive ongoing training and development through weekly workshops in our Cookery School, as well as regular activities to ensure a greater appreciation of food, like meeting producers and others on the supply chain.

“These vital aspects of the apprenticeship will equip our apprentices with crucial skills for their future culinary careers.”

The scheme has been endorsed by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, who says training new talent is the bedrock of our tourism infrastructure.

“Northern Ireland is famous for its warm welcome and hospitality, and the Apprentice Programme will sustain and develop the industry in the future.

“Investing in the next generation of chefs will reinforce Northern Ireland’s reputation as a fantastic food destination, and build on the excellence that already exists here.”

As part of the Programme, the successful candidates will combine their James Street South training with two days attendance at Belfast Metropolitan College each week to learn and practice the skills for the job.

Belfast Met Lead Training Manager Heather Hedley says the Apprentice Programme will give students the chance to hone and showcase their skills.

“Belfast Met is a huge advocate for apprenticeships and believes they are one of the best ways of preparing young people for the world of work. Our students work incredibly hard to gain the experience needed to succeed, and to have the chance to be part of the James Street South team with Niall is a great incentive.

“We look forward to working with the successful applicants to equip them with the skills they need to make the most of this fantastic opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the industry here.

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