Springboard’s FutureChef was developed in 1999 as a result of research findings into young people’s perceptions of the industry. It revealed that young people regarded chefs such as Brian Turner, Gary Rhodes and James Martin almost as highly as pop or television stars - surprisingly, however, few genuinely considered a career as a chef!
Since its inception, Springboard’s FutureChef has evolved from a four stage Competition into a year-long Programme where industry and education can work together at a local level on a regular basis.
Through both the Competition and the Programme the initiative addresses:
- Perceptions of the industry by introducing young people to cooking
- Development of skills – cooking, team work, ingredients, healthy eating
- Positive work experience and tasters in the industry
- Comprehensive advice on career options and entry routes available – to support informed decision making
With the regular intervention of local sponsor industry professionals this not only supports the above, but it also allows businesses to develop their staff and deliver upon their CSR strategy.
Firmdale Hotels hosted an experience day for the FutureChef competitors. This allowed the students to get first-hand experience and to expand on their skills.
Here is an overview of participation growth for the competition over the years
Since its inception thousands of young people aged 12-16 have come through this UK wide initiative. Over recent years the Springboard team has been engaging with those that have entered the industry as a direct result. Known as Springboard’s FutureChef Alumni, these individuals support the promotion of the initiative with their peers, develop their skills by supporting Springboard events and overall they build their networks and profile throughout.