Restaurant chain due to open new Aylesbury Vale venue launches paid trainee scheme for chefs

With the hospitality sector facing a severe lack of staff, The Oakman Group has set up its own intensive Chef Academy

By Hannah Richardson
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 3:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 3:42 pm

Have you got a passion for food and want to turn it into a career – but have no training or qualifications?

A pub restaurant group that's due to open its newest venue in Buckingham this spring has launched a new, paid trainee scheme.

The Oakman Group's Chef Academy a new scheme to train people up on a paid, two-week intensive, residential course, at the end of which they will get a job.

Chef Ismet Cinemre (left) shows two Chef Academy attendees how to prepare handmade wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas

The group says the hospitality sector has been crippled by the pandemic and the effects of Brexit, and one of the biggest problems is the severe lack of staff.

So it has decided to meet the problem head on, and will be hosting its Chef Academy in January, February and March.

The Oakman Group has several venues in and around Aylesbury Vale, including The Betsey Wynne at Swanbourne and The Akeman Inn in Kingswood Lane, Aylesbury.

Its newest venue will be the former Grand Junction pub in Buckingham, which is due to open in April.

The intensive two-week residential course will be based at The Woburn, in Bedfordshire.

All attendees will be paid and given a full meal allowance, and at the end of the two weeks will be offered a job at one of Oakman’s 36 venues across England, with a starting salary from £10 per hour.

“Our aim is not to hire chefs - it’s to create them,” said Oakman Group CEO Dermot King.

“We’re looking for people with a passion for food and a desire to learn, and we can help them by giving them excellent training and coaching from our team of chefs.

"Too often, people think the hospitality sector is just a job and not a career.

"We think differently, and our Chef Academy is one example of how we like to invest in people and training.”

Oakman won the Princess Royal Training Award in 2017 and 2020, and many of its chefs and venue managers have worked their way up from more junior roles.

The dates for the next three Chef Academies are January 24 to February 4, February 21 to March 4, and March 14 to March 25.

For more details and to apply, go to