Nelson & Colne College chef initiative claims national award

Mark Taft (left) with apprentices.
Mark Taft (left) with apprentices.
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A partnership between the Seafood Pub Company and Nelson and Colne College has been awarded a prestigious award after its huge success.

The Seafood Pub Company has been named the Large Employer of the Year ( for Liverpool, Lancashire, and Cumbria) in the National Apprenticeship Awards for its joint initiative with the college, which aims to make students truly work ready and address an industry-wide chef shortage.

Some 28 students are now in full-time employment with the Seafood Pub Company after completing their education at Nelson and Colne College, with many more enrolled on the programme this year.

“We’re delighted to have received this award,” said Mark Taft, Head of Kitchen Operations at the Seafood Pub Company. “With 12 award-winning food, drink and accommodation sites across Lancashire and Yorkshire, we are passionate about inspiring the next generation of young chefs through an innovative training and development programme.

“We cannot thank Nelson and Colne College enough for their support in launching this unique apprenticeship programme," he added. “Our workforce of apprentices continues to grow and with plans to add three new sites to our portfolio next year, we will be able to offer training and employment to increasing numbers of apprentices."

In addition to winning the Large Employer of the Year award, the seafood academy has also won two Professional Association for Catering Education awards after judges were impressed with the innovation, creativity and enrichment opportunities shown by the Seafood Pub Company and Nelson and Colne College.

"Winning this prestigious award will give our seafood academy the platform it deserves to help more and more apprentices pursue their dream careers in the hospitality industry, supported by an award-winning college and an award-winning employer,” Mark said.