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Stacey Botwood is an apprentice chef with Amadeus at Dudley Zoo.

Apprenticeship title: Level 2 Commis Chef Apprenticeship
Educational institution: University College Birmingham (UCB)

Stacey joined Amadeus in 2017 as an Apprentice Chef and is a big advocate for the business' apprenticeship programme.

The role has been designed so that chef apprentices will gain practical, real-life experience working within Amadeus’ contracted venues, combined with practical training provided in partnership with local educational institution UCB. It is hoped all chef apprentices will work towards positions of permanent employment with Amadeus in a bid to help the company develop a strong pipeline of future talent.  

Working alongside professional chefs, Stacey is learning how to develop and deliver high end menus and products as part of her role. So far, she has gained experience working within a conference and banqueting environment at the International Convention Centre (ICC) and in event catering at Dudley Zoo.

Stacey said: With support from my mentor and UCB I don’t need to worry about my studies as they are all on hand to help me when needed. I can even have one on one support with my college tutor if I need to.  It has been a rocky path at times but my Manager and the other apprentices are by my side, on the same boat, which makes me feel a lot better. All of the apprentices I started with I’ve made lasting friendships with, as well as the people I work with at both venues. Everyone is so friendly and helpful even if you make a mistake they don’t judge or moan at you, they show you the way and help you to improve your skills and development. 

“When I finish this apprenticeship I’m hoping to continue on with my education and complete my level 3 CDP qualification with Amadeus. I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship as where else can you earn while you learn! I even got free training equipment from my employer so I didn’t need to fork out hundreds of pounds on that which is a bonus. And at the end of it you are working but you are also gaining a valuable qualification what you get to keep!”

Kevin Watson, Managing Director of Amadeus, said:

“People are the lifeblood of Amadeus – like all other large-scale caterers, we are constantly in need of new talent to help the company thrive. By developing bespoke programmes in partnership with our local institutions, we are training up versatile individuals that understand the nuances of different types of catering we operate in – be that retail, hospitality or standalone banqueting.”