EXCLUSIVE: Lack of interest for Sue Williams’ new chefs’ training scheme sees course abandoned

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The demand for quality chefs in the hotel industry has never been so high, but despite a new training programme being created by experienced hotelier Sue Williams especially to meet this demand, the planned course had to be abandoned due to lack of interest.

Williams, who recently moved from Cliveden House in September to Whatley Manor as general manager, told Boutique Hotelier that plans were set in place for a chefs’ version of the popular industry management training scheme, 10 out of 10, but despite strong promotion, just three CVs were submitted from budding chefs.

Williams set up the 10 out of 10 management training programme five years ago and has since grown the course into a reputable path to a successful career in hospitality. The course sees ten candidates complete a 25-month training programme covering core skills working in some of the best properties in the UK.

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In a bid to recreate this success for hotel kitchen brigades, a chefs’ ten out of ten training programme was devised, with some top industry names on board as mentors, but a lack of take up saw the course abandoned, with not enough applications to get it off the ground.

Williams explains: “We know everybody is particularly anxious about getting chefs so we thought it would be a good idea. It had some great names behind it – I sought chefs who had a really good 21st century head space, who I knew would do a fantastic job mentoring and instilling the right cultures.

“We put it all out there, promoted it – we got three CVs. It was a 25 month programme and each month was mapped out for them, starting in September, five months at a property. We tried to convert it to the management programme but it was just too late.”

After this set back, Williams is keen to stress that the 10 out of 10 management training programme is now back for 2017, with the application process now open.

“We are now 100% getting it going again for next year,” says Williams. “We start recruiting in January, February and March, ready for people to start in September and we want the best. They haven’t got to be a degree student – ideally they’d have an industry qualification so they’d have had time to think that this is really what they want; we want commitment.”

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