Catering and Hospitality apprenticeships and degrees – what’s out there?

There’s so much training out there to turn your hospitality and catering part-time and holiday work into a rewarding, well-paid career.

If you’ve read our myth busting article which separates fact from fiction in catering careers, you’ll know that hospitality and catering is sometimes viewed as temporary work for weekends and holidays with no career prospects.

In fact, there are plenty of rewarding, highly valued and well-paid hospitality and catering jobs out there.

In addition, there are many courses, degrees and apprenticeships you can do to develop your skills and qualifications. They can help you achieve management positions more quickly, and take on roles that require formal qualifications as well as experience.


What can you expect from a hospitality or catering apprenticeship?

  • Earn a salary and receive formal training while working
  • Receive coaching and mentoring from industry professionals
  • Enhance your career prospects
  • Achieve a nationally recognised qualification.

You can become a hospitality or catering apprentice if you’re aged 16 or over, eligible to work in the UK and not in full-time education.

Where can you get a Hospitality and Catering Apprenticeship?

Lots of big employers related to hospitality and catering offer them. Name a big food or drinks franchise and they’re likely to have apprenticeships on offer, from intermediate to advanced level.

You could work in restaurants, gastro pubs, coffee shops and hotels. You could work with organisations with a catering section, too – like hospitals, schools and colleges, or the uniformed services.

NVQs, Awards and types of Apprenticeship

Hospitality and catering NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) and awards are available for a range of competencies, including:

  • Food Processing and Cooking
  • Food Production and Cooking
  • Professional Cookery
  • Food and Drink Service
  • Catering Principles
  • Front Office
  • Housekeeping
  • Hospitality Management
  • Food Technology
  • Food Science and Food Science Operations

With this much variety, you can follow your interests wherever they lie in the catering world – whether it’s in the kitchen, interacting with customers or developing your business and sales skills. You could even head into the world of food technology (like inventing new flavours) or R&D (research and development).

Applying for Hospitality and Catering Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are paid jobs, so employers do the recruitment. With a degree apprenticeship, both the employer and education provider (e.g. university) need to be satisfied you meet their requirements as an applicant.

You can search online, visit the career website of a specific employer you have in mind, or use the government Find an apprenticeship website to seek opportunities.

Degree Apprenticeships

Earn a salary doing what you love. And get a degree for free.

One of the myths around hospitality and catering is that it doesn’t always lead to a long-term career. The truth is that 95% of hospitality and catering graduates are employed, and degree apprenticeships in this industry help your career rise like the perfect soufflé.

With a degree apprenticeship, you earn a salary working with an employer who trains you in your field. They also pay the costs for you to study for a degree while you work, as part of a structured work-based training programme. Degree apprenticeships are an incredible way to build up the skills and experience you need to take on roles with greater responsibility (like management) or roles where you need a certain level of expertise in your area of interest (like food science).

That info was for starters. It’s time to move onto the main course.

Explore the menu choices for just some of the amazing hospitality and catering apprenticeships out there…

Hospitality and Catering Management Apprenticeships

Management apprenticeships in hospitality and catering include:

  • Hotel management
  • Hospitality management

These are level 4 higher apprenticeships that will give you nationally recognised qualifications and skills in an area of work well-known for having opportunities for speedy career progression.

A hospitality management apprenticeship can help you train in roles like:

  • Front office manager
  • Operations manager
  • Unit manager
  • Deputy General manager

Once qualified, your starting salary can be around £30,000 a year.

To apply for a level 4 hospitality management apprenticeship, you’ll typically need to be able to show you’ve already had experience of leading a team in the hospitality industry. On successfully applying you can then further develop your knowledge, experience and skills.

What if you don’t have management experience under your belt yet? You can apply for a level 3 hospitality management apprenticeship, as a learner looking to expand your skills and responsibilities. You can find out more from the Institute of Hospitality.

Food Technical Degree Apprenticeships

The food and drink sector is highly innovative and adopting loads of new technologies, but that means people with higher level skills are in great demand. With a Food Technical Degree Apprenticeship, you’ll work towards a BSc (Hons) Food Science and Technology degree alongside a structured work-based training programme.

This can help you get into well-paid and rewarding technical professional roles like:

  • Product Innovation and Development Technologist
  • Assistant Food Technical Manager
  • Quality Manager
  • Shift Quality Manager
  • Hygiene Manager

Chef Apprenticeships

Want to cook up a career storm? There are two types of apprenticeships for professional chefs, so you can train according to your level of skill and experience:

Intermediate Level Apprenticeship

You can train in roles like:

  • Craft chef – fine dining or casual dining (e.g. gastro pubs, restaurants or hotels)
  • Commis chef, demi chef or chef de partie
  • Deep fry chef
  • School cook/chef

Chef apprenticeships are also available to give you specialised training in regional cuisine, e.g. Thai, Bangladeshi or Chinese cuisine.

Advanced Level Apprenticeship

You can train in roles like:

  • Sous chef or senior chef in fine dining or casual dining

Posts not found

See all Hospitality and Catering careers advice

Discover more tasty job ideas and career advice in the Hospitality and Catering careers hub.

Tagged in: ,

Are You Aged 14-24?
Get FREE Young Professional Training
Are You An Employer?
Get youth employment expert help

For more information, please email or call 01536 513388.

Looking for Youth Friendly Employers?

Find out more about some of the organisations offering high quality training and work opportunities to young people. Your next dream role could be just a click away…

Latest Articles

See more

Our Summer Statement Response

What a big day for Rishi Sunak and young people right across the country! For the last 3 months we […]

3 Ways for young people to celebrate World Youth Skills Day

It’s World Youth Skills Day on 15th July 2020. See how you can celebrate this day as a young person […]

Involving Young People in Policy making

NEW ONLINE TOOL TO INVOLVE YOUNG PEOPLE IN POLICY MAKING ‘Involved’ Instagram page will use polls and stories to hear […]

McDonald’s is re-opening. See how it is keeping its teams and customers safe

When you join Youth Friendly Employer McDonald’s to work in their team – or when you are their customer – […]