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Case studies

River Cottage

River Cottage – Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer

River Cottage, a Top 100 apprenticeship employer*, has been offering apprenticeships since spring 2013, engaging with more than 100 learners per year. Its award winning scheme combines training at world famous River Cottage HQ, with a placement in apprentices’ local area.

Open to applicants aged 16-24, this career-shaping opportunity combines chef school based courses with on-the-job training across some of the South West’s top restaurants, pubs and hotels.

The educational arm of River Cottage was set up to inspire young people into the kitchen and increase the quality pipeline of chefs into the hospitality industry.

Highlights of the programme include insight into the world of globally renowned River Cottage, state of the art kitchens to train in, mentoring and support from established industry professionals, and the chance to compete for the prestigious Rising Star award. There are no tuition fees to pay and learners will receive an above average apprenticeship salary from their employer during the 12 month programme.


River Cottage founder, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall believes that learning on the job is crucial for budding chefs, “There is an enduring, knowledge-for-life quality to this kind of learning that cannot be replicated outside the workplace. Former apprentices often cite the confidence-boosting, stimulating, varied nature of their apprenticeship along with the enriched and accelerated learning process as the key to building a successful career.”

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*The prestigious annual Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list is compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.