Apprentices cooking up success in industry

14th February 2024

Apprentices from Stratford-upon-Avon College are achieving success out in industry with contract caterers Wilson Vale.

Dylan Faultless-Hodgson and Kat Metcalf are taking on apprenticeships within contract catering for Wilson Vale at two different sites; Dylan at Gowling WLG in Birmingham and Kat at Rhodes House in Oxford.

Dylan pictured left and Kat pictured right

Both apprentices are doing extremely well whilst taking very different routes. Dylan is working as a Hospitality team member on a Level 2 Hospitality Assistant Apprenticeship.

He originally debated between A-Levels and an apprenticeship but after doing work experience in a café and enjoying it, he met with his careers advisor and discovered the apprenticeship route was best for him.

After finding this apprenticeship online, Dylan met with Bryan Anderson from Stratford-upon-Avon College and secured the apprenticeship with Contract Catering company Wilson Vale. The role includes corporate catering and running business lunches, catering for meetings and fine dining events for internal staff and clients.

Dylan is pleased to have followed the apprenticeship route. He comments: “I like the independent learning and the fact that I’m trusted to do things by myself. I’m still learning new things every day, and able to learn things at a rate that suits me.” He is especially pleased to be doing his apprenticeship with this team: “Working in contract catering is great as it has a great work life balance, plus the team is amazing here.”

He is also thankful for the support of the College: “Bryan (Anderson – Account Manager for Apprenticeships) is lovely to work with and is supportive and is there to help maintain a good learning schedule which is appropriate for this role.”

Dylan is keen to progress to the next levels of apprenticeship, both Level 3 then onto Level 4: “I would love to go into management. This is the line of work I know I want to continue pursuing and that I am passionate about.”

Kat is doing a Level 2 Commis Chef Apprenticeship but took a different route to arrive at her decision. After looking for a new job after working for the past couple of years, a Kitchen Porter job opened up at Rhodes House which she applied for. However, after expressing an interest in cooking, the team at Rhodes House and Wilson Vale organised getting Kat onboard as a Commis Chef apprentice.

Kat has really enjoyed her apprenticeship as a way of progressing her career: “It’s much better than being in a classroom, the practical style of learning really works for me. I’ve realised that this is the industry that I want to be in. And I can earn while I learn!”

Rhys Hodgson is working with Kat and is Head Chef at Rhodes House. He detailed what some of the benefits of having an apprentice were: “I personally get quite a bit of fulfilment watching someone progress and learn and having another dynamic to the team. Moreover, the environment here is excellent for an apprentice to learn in. We have a mixture of busy and quieter periods which means we have time to train and practise which you don’t get in most restaurants. Also, we get to work on a whole range of different meals and events which allows us the luxury of freedom and creating a range of food.”

Elsie Berry who is the Hospitality Manager working with Dylan has really relished having an apprentice on the team: “Dylan has been incredible and is a quick learner. It’s been nice to have a fresh pair of eyes and have someone who brings new ideas and fits with the team as we better ourselves in everything we do and he’s like minded in that.”

Congratulations to both apprentices on their continued success, we can’t wait to see their progression.

Find out more about the College’s Apprenticeships: Apprenticeships