3 ways YOU can use FutureChef to improve your business

FutureChef is an industry-endorsed programme supporting young people aged 12-16 to discover a love of cooking, inspiring them to embark on a future career in the industry. The programme relies on the involvement of chefs to work with schools, mentoring students during the competition and inspiring them to consider careers in the industry. Using our 20 years’ experience running FutureChef, we’ve come up with 3 key ways in which you can maximise the opportunities available to develop a talent pipeline.

Demonstrate your commitment and reap the benefits!

The success of the FutureChef programme is largely made up of the support and time provided by industry professionals. While they may not be dealing with the stress of working in a professional kitchen, being a Food Technology teacher is tough. With a large proportion of their time taken up by marking, lesson-planning and dealing with pastoral issues, their students could really benefit from an expert voice in the classroom.

For our partnerships with chefs to be successful, we need to have commitment that you’ll uphold your promise.

Of course, we understand that unplanned inconveniences can disrupt your plans though. Last minute bookings? A shortage in the kitchen? Changes to the rota? These things happen but when it conflicts with a visit to one of our schools, there are plenty of ways to tackle it:

  1. Secure a backup chef in case of emergency – this could be a sous-chef or another colleague!
  2. If you find out in advance, we ask that you please let the FutureChef team know as soon as possible so that we can rearrange your visit for a more convenient time.

Fostering a good relationship with schools allows you to tap into a large local talent pool. Businesses paired with a school are far more likely to be able to hire those students into apprenticeships.

Remember that you are representing your company AND the industry!

Whether you are visiting a school, mentoring a student or even showing students around your kitchens, it’s hugely important for our chefs to proudly fly the flag for the hospitality industry, using your platform to promote your profession as a fantastic place to work to the students.

  • Bring along marketing materials to inform and educate students about your place of work
  • Additionally, provide some marketing materials about your apprenticeship programmes
  • Help us to tackle the negative preconceptions about working in the food industry and use positive language
  • Explain all of the varied opportunities and avenues through which one can become a chef, dispelling any misconceptions the students may have.
  • Consider the age of the group you are addressing – with younger students, focus on inspiring them and sharing all of the features and benefits of a career as a chef. For older students who have already elected to study Food Technology, make sure to promote the industry as a whole and educate them on the range of career paths available.

Develop your own staff members’ skillsets through the programme!

Whilst the programme is primarily designed with students and teachers in mind, FutureChef is also a fantastic way of growing and developing the chefs in your own team. The programme provides them with an excellent platform through which they can learn mentorship skills by nurturing young talent, which they can later apply to managing other team members.

“FutureChef affords chefs the opportunity to highlight and develop skills that are required in more senior kitchen roles. Whether it’s presenting to a group of students, developing new dishes with competitors or building relationships for a business with a school, FutureChef offers an environment where your staff can excel.” David Mulcahy, Food Development & Innovation Director, Sodexo

How many junior members of your team would benefit from opportunities to prove their soft skills for future roles in your organisation?

Published: 6th November 2019

Last edited: 29th October 2020