The City of Liverpool CollegeWe're celebrating National Apprenticeship Week! - The City of Liverpool College
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8th February 2024

We’re celebrating National Apprenticeship Week!

This week is National Apprenticeship Week (5-11 Feb 2024) which brings together businesses and apprentices from across the country to shine a light on the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

We’ve launched our National Apprenticeship Week celebrations with a catch-up with 17-year-old Dylan McArdle, one of our amazing apprentice chefs. Dylan started his journey at the College back in October, and has gone from strength to strength, working alongside top culinary experts in the Alba, a popular family-run restaurant on the outskirts of the city. Dylan takes us through a typical fast-paced working day in the kitchen and tells us why an apprenticeship was the right fit for him.


Dylan McArdle – Apprentice Commis Chef (Level 2)

What made you want to go into the culinary industry? Have you always wanted to be a chef? 

‘I’ve always been a very creative person however, being a chef was never really a career prospect of mine until I was introduced to the possibilities of the culinary industry when I started working at Alba. The passion of the other chefs towards the trade and the intricate work I observed going into it really spiked my interest, and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to pursue it.’ 

What is it like working in the Alba? 

‘Alba is a very relaxed working environment which was perfect for me just starting out, beginning my career in a family-run business created a strong support system which really assisted me and continues to do so as I progress. However, it also never fails to push and encourage me to take work to exceptional standards, which will be very beneficial as I continue my career.’ 

Why did you choose an apprenticeship? 

‘I chose an apprenticeship as it offers the combination of practical and theoretical learning, which is perfect, as it allows me to express my work in new and creative ways, as I learn the classic techniques of the culinary world. I’m also able to grow my talents and knowledge at a young age, whilst making a wage.’ 

What are the benefits of your apprenticeship? 

‘My apprenticeship is full of exciting new opportunities that I wouldn’t get otherwise, I’m able to work with exceptional chefs in different environments and have been given opportunities – such as competitions and working private dinners – that have opened my eyes to lots of different paths I could take in the future.’ 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to others? 

‘An apprenticeship opens you up to opportunities and experiences that normal education wouldn’t necessarily provide. An apprenticeship is perfect for those wanting to pursue their interests in the working world whilst still being in education, where they can gain a deeper understanding and knowledge of their field.’ 

Where do you see yourself in the next few years? 

‘After completing my apprenticeship, I only want to go up in the industry and hopefully landing a position in a high end kitchen with the title of sous chef or executive chef.’

Adam Franklin – Owner, Alba Restaurant

We also had the opportunity to chat with Adam Franklin, owner of the Alba Restaurant in Melling. We asked Adam why he feels apprenticeships are important to the success of the hospitality industry.

‘As a hospitality business, we are approached by lots of young people looking for a part-time job as they are interested in our industry. We believe formalising that on-the-job training and allowing the apprentice to take on the College experience is really helpful, and provides a great platform to progress in our industry. We benefit greatly from the experience our apprentices gain when they are at college. 

‘Our industry is a meritocracy. Success comes through hard work and dedication to the craft – an apprenticeship provides the gateway to our industry that gives structure to the training needs. 

‘I think lots of employers would benefit from the structure an apprenticeship scheme offers, to help develop and monitor the progress of young people.’♦


Credit: Alba Restaurant & Bar                                                                                   Adam Franklin credit: Knowsley Chamber

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