North Kent College’s National Maritime Training Centre and Culinary Academy have joined forces to deliver the apprenticeship to a leading ferry operator, P & O Ferries. The Maritime Catering standards were developed as a partnership that enabled apprentices to pursue a career in catering at sea, with all the necessary training in on board safety, practical cookery skills to meet seafarer and passenger food requirements.
North Kent College has industry standard facilities to enable both the ship safety and professional cookery to be delivered at their Gravesend Campus. The college is working with five apprentices from P & O Ferries to deliver “The Maritime Caterer apprenticeship” which is a Level 2 qualification including the Award in Maritime Studies STCW Safety - SQA.
Running over 2 years, the training is delivered at the National Maritime Training Centre and North Kent College’s industrial training kitchens at the Gravesend Campus. It covers food purchase and storage, budgeting and menu planning specific to the needs of crew and passengers, and food storage for the fresh produce on board. Customer service is an important part of the role, along with a range of shipboard safety duties and responsibilities.
The five apprentices began their three-week induction at the beginning of January - each receiving a full induction into the programme which included ship safety training resulting in certification allowing them to work on board the five ferries that run between Dover and Calais. Duncan Weetman, Curriculum Manager, Hospitality and Catering Hospitality said “This is such an exciting opportunity for the College and our particular department to develop and train apprentices to work at sea. It has been a long time in the planning stages, but we have developed a fantastic training programme to deliver over the next two years. The apprentices are already showing competence and great skills in the kitchen.”
Stephen Watkins, NMTC Manager, said “It is great to finally be able to enrol students on to the new Catering Apprenticeship Standard following months of hard work by so many people involved in the development. We are fortunate at North Kent College that we have the ability to deliver both the maritime safety training at the National Maritime Training Centre and the cookery skills within the Culinary Academy and thank P&O for their support. Following their three weeks of basic training I would like to wish the new recruits all the best with their new careers as they join their ships today.”
Mike Willis, Learning & Development Advisor at P&O Ferries said “We are very proud to be the first organisation to commence the new apprenticeship standard and to continue our training partnership with North Kent College.”