Apprenticeship offers recipe for success

Megan and Jenny Mount of The Place for Food
Megan and Jenny Mount of The Place for Food

An apprenticeship scheme helping to kick start careers in catering is looking to businesses in the Banbury area to support a major expansion.

Banbury and Bicester College is looking to double its catering apprenticeship programme by partnering with local restaurants, cafés and catering outlets to provide placements for young people.

Apprenticeships at the college are managed by the specialist division Activate Enterprise and the aim is to increase the programme from six to 12 this academic year and to go up to 20 from September.

Among those already signed up to the programme are mother and daughter partnership Jenny and Megan Mount. Mrs Mount runs The Place for Food, a café and catering outlet based within the Cherwell Business Village on Southam Road in Banbury. Having recently taken over the business, she soon realised that she needed an additional pair of hands and was able to employ daughter Megan through the apprenticeship programme.

Mrs Mount said: “We got busy very quickly and I worked with Banbury and Bicester College to develop the apprenticeship vacancy, which was ideal for Megan. She had just finished her A-levels and was on a gap year before university. It has done her, and the business, a world of good. As a small business we need to ensure that staffing is effective and efficient, and above all we need it to be flexible.”

Megan, 17, is keen to pursue a career in the industry and will study environmental health at Cardiff University in September. She said: “I am so much more confident now since working at the café. I am much happier talking to people and I know that it will improve my chances of getting a part-time job while I am at university.”

Interested businesses can contact Sam King at Activate Enterprise on 01865 551656.