“After I finished my GCSEs, I started a plumbing course at SERC’s Newtownards Campus. Before the course ended, I realised that plumbing no longer interested me and that I wanted to change route, so I dropped out a week before it finished. I had always enjoyed cooking, and after speaking to some tutors, I was recommended the Catering and Hospitality courses at the Bangor Campus. In 2021, I started the Level 2 Professional Cookery Work Based Apprenticeship and progressed to the Level 3 apprenticeship in 2022."
“I decided to pursue the apprenticeship route because I wanted to get experience of the world of work rather than being in college all of the time. I am currently employed with Eight South bar and restaurant in Carryduff as a Chef de Partie, and here, I am responsible for running my own section in the kitchen and assisting with food preparation. The apprenticeship route has been good for me because it helps develop my skills a lot faster. I also like that I am out working four days during the week and in college for one day.”
“SERC’s facilities on campus are really good. There are fully functioning kitchens which are great to train in, and the lecturing staff are always hands on and happy to help with anything. Brain Magill in particular has been great; he is the best chef there is and a really good guy. If you ask him how to make something he can just rattle it off back to front and he is amazing to learn from.”
“Since being at SERC, I have taken part in some cooking competitions, and have recently done three weeks of work experience in Nashville at the Dream hotel group. In May, I will be going to Italy to take part in the CombiGuru competition final at UNOX HQ. During this competition, I will be producing two dishes using UNOX equipment, and I am looking forward to it.”
“I would definitely encourage them do it. I had never considered SERC until I left school, but coming here has been the best decision I ever made. My main goal was to develop my skillset in cooking, and SERC has definitely helped me do this. When I finish my course, I am thinking of doing the foundation degree in Culinary Arts at SERC or going to university.”