UK Government

Department for Children, Schools and Families: Apprentices poach tips from Marco Pierre White

Press Release   •   Feb 24, 2010 11:30 GMT

Issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the National Apprenticeship Service

Fifteen apprentice chefs from across the country attended a masterclass this morning with Michelin starred chef Marco Pierre White at his London restaurant ‘Wheelers’.

The fifteen budding chefs spent the morning in the kitchen at Wheelers learning how to prepare a range of dishes from the restaurant’s a la carte menu, from Pierre White and his team.

An ex apprentice himself and the youngest chef ever to have been awarded three Michelin stars, Pierre White is a keen advocate of Apprenticeships, and recommends aspiring chefs to seriously consider taking one. So much so, he is now starring in a new advertising campaign for Apprenticeships.

It was a pleasure to meet the fifteen apprentices,’ says Pierre White, who spent all morning with the apprentices. ‘In my opinion, an Apprenticeship is a passport to a future career. Apprenticeships are the future.’

The viral campaign consists of three films showing how Pierre White’s life could have been without his Apprenticeship. The films feature him operating a burger van, a world away from the haute cuisine restaurants he usually inhabits. The films can be seen at:

For the lucky fifteen, the masterclass has given them a day to remember. Throughout the morning, Pierre White gave an insight into his experience as an Apprentice, advising the youngsters on how enhance their prospects.

‘I am never going to forget this experience’, says Rebecca Marshman, who is doing her Apprenticeship at Rules restaurant in Covent Garden. Marco chatted to us all – he’s amazing! Doing this has enabled me to see how other people work, what other Apprenticeships are like and see what new skills I can learn. It’s also confirmed that I am absolutely doing the right thing for me.’

Simon Waugh, Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service described Marco as a shining light in the Apprenticeship community, adding that “Marco’s success is proof of what Apprenticeships can do for young people. He is a great advocate for us and we are delighted he agreed to feature in our new campaign.’

Apprenticeships in hospitality are on the rise with 17,000 starting last year. The National Apprenticeship Service has over 8,000 live vacancies on its online matching service and 5000 employers have just signed up take on an unemployed 16 or 17 year old as part of AGE (Apprenticeship Grants for Employers).  All young people are encouraged to consider the option of an Apprenticeship and should contact their local connexions office or visit for more information.

-E N D S-

For more information please contact or call Kate on 020 7904 0926

To view the pictures that accompany this release, please follow the links below:

Notes to editors

1.  National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

The NAS was announced in January 2008 and officially launched in April 2009. Reporting to the Departments for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), the service will drive forward the Government’s ambition for Apprenticeships. The service aims to bring about a significant growth in the number of employers offering Apprenticeships.

The NAS takes total responsibility for the delivery of Apprenticeships which includes: Employer Services; Learner Services; and a web-based vacancy matching system.  This online system enables individuals to search and apply for live vacancies. Additionally, employers and training providers can advertise their vacancies to a wide range of interested applicants.

The service has ultimate accountability for the national delivery of targets and co-ordination of the funding for Apprenticeship places. It seeks to overcome barriers to the growth of the programme, assuming responsibility for promoting Apprenticeships and their value to employers, learners and the country as a whole.

2. Apprenticeship Grants for Employers (AGE 16-17)

The National Apprenticeship Service is providing up to 5,000 Apprenticeship Grants for Employers of 16 and 17 year olds (AGE 16 and 17). Each grant is worth £2,500 and is to encourage employers to take on unemployed 16-17 year olds as apprentices. The £2,500 grant is in addition to the costs of training which is met by the National Apprenticeship Service.

Already we have had an excellent response from employers to the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16 and 17 year olds initiative that we launched in January, and over 5000 employers across the country have signed up to AGE and committed to taking on a 16 or 17 year old as an apprentice before March 31st. This means that there will be a variety of Apprenticeships available across a range of sectors. Young people interested in taking one up should contact their local Connexions office.

3. Marco Pierre White

After leaving school, Marco began his chef training in the kitchen at the Hotel St George in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and later at the Box Tree in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. At 16 he moved to London and began his classical training as a commis under Albert Roux and Michel Roux at Le Gavroche, and then under Pierre Koffman at La Tante and later in the kitchen of Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saison. Marco is a passionate advocate of Apprenticeships believing that it was this early training that lead to his later success.


NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department