Meet our Catering and Hospitality apprentices

07 February 2022 Ross Watson

It’s National Apprenticeship Week and to celebrate we’ve been speaking to apprentices from across the NEC Group. From chefs to IT, finance to hospitality, we’ve been asking our teams about their experiences of an apprenticeship so far.

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(From L to R) Paloma Pisani, Samantha Dixon and J'N'dye English-Nugent

Paloma Pisani, Samantha Dixon and J'N'dye English-Nugent are completing Commis Chef and Chef de Partie apprenticeships at Group caterer Amadeus, while studying at University College Birmingham (UCB).
How has your apprenticeship been so far, as well as your role with Amadeus? Can you tell us about some highlights?  
Paloma: It’s interesting to work with Amadues as there is a wide variety of venues we can work at such as the Vox, Cadbury World and Birmingham’s two arenas. There’s a real variety with different kitchens too. 

J'N'dye: I love watching the end product after all of our hard work - watching events come to life.  

Samantha: The staff are so warm and welcoming. They always explain what needs to be done and pass their experience on to me – working alongside them every day is my favourite part of the job. 
Would you recommend an apprenticeship to other people thinking about it?  

Samantha: I would definitely recommend it. It’s a great way to manage your time, it’s really balanced. You can study and get a qualification at the end of it which is what you want.  

J'N'dye: Yes I would. It means I can work and get experience, while getting a qualification at the same time.  

Paloma: Of course, I’d recommend them. While we are studying the theory, we can learn the practical as well. Apprenticeships mean we have a real wide range of experiences.  

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Natasha Reid, Hospitality Supervisor Apprentice

Natasha Reid is working as a Hospitality Supervisor Apprentice while studying for a Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor apprenticeship at UCB.

Tell us about your apprenticeship role?  

I started my apprenticeship in September 2019, but since COVID my apprenticeship has been moved mostly online.   
We’ve been putting together business plans for a hospitality business, sort of like a dissertation. I’ve been doing mine on recycling and food waste which I’m really interested in. It’s something which could help shape Amadeus and their strategy which I think is really valuable - taking my skills from the course into the real world.

How has your apprenticeship been so far, as well as your role with Amadeus? Can you tell us about some highlights?  
It’s been great. We’ve been looking at the concept of food and beverage, as well as hospitality law which is so important.   
The industry is fast-moving and you have to keep up to date with what’s going on and the latest practices. We’ve been shown some really interesting case studies which will help shape my day-to-day work. 

My role with Amadeus has been great too. I’ve had chance to experience many sections of the business, exploring different areas of hospitality. I’ve been part of some fantastic shows and events which has been fantastic.