BRAKSPEAR has appointed its first apprentice.
Henry Engbers, 19, has joined the pub company as trainee chef at the Bull in Bell Street, Henley.
He already has industry experience, having worked as a trainee chef at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage as well as waiting tables at Henley Royal Regatta.
Henry, a former pupil of the Oratory School in Woodcote, will spend one day a month on an apprenticeship course in hospitality and catering at The Henley College and his training at the pub will be overseen by head chef Rob Chasteauneuf.
Henry, who lives in Norman Avenue, Henley, with his mother Claire, said: “It’s fantastic as it’s so local as well and the pub has a fantastic atmosphere.
“This will improve my skill set and to a certain extent it’s a qualification that will allow me to take up positions in a kitchen environment more easily.”
The six-month apprenticeship will run until the end of the summer and then Henry will have to decide whether to take up a place at Portsmouth University to study marine biology or pursue his dream to become a chef.
Mr Chasteauneuf, who interviewed the teenager for the role, said: “Henry’s a really good lad. He’s really keen and very much up for trying a bit of everything. It’s good for youngsters to get an offer of work experience within a trade environment.”
Matt Aket, Brakspear’s operations manager, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Henry to Brakspear.
“He has already impressed us with his evident passion for cooking and understanding of the hospitality industry.
“Like all food-led pubs, we want to attract the best talent into our kitchens and apprenticeships offer us a way to develop young, enthusiastic students into skilled chefs.” Mr Aket said the company was looking to offer more apprenticeships.
Karen Wick, marketing and communications officer at the college, said: “We’re very pleased to have placed Henry as an apprentice at the Bull. It’s a busy pub with a good reputation for food, so he will have plenty of opportunities to learn all about food service while also studying for a recognised qualification.
“We wish him well in this next step in his chosen career.”