It’s coming up to that time of year where exams start for most young people, this includes those of you who are doing a catering course. Colleges will give an excellent grounding and both theory and practical knowledge but the best way to gain work experience while attending college is to get a job in a kitchen. Most local pubs and restaurants will be delighted of the young, fresh help that comes from colleges finishing and this is a good starting point for anyone who is attending college at the moment, giving very good practical experience while still learning your trade in the security of a college.

Work experience

Jobs in the best restaurants will be filled with applicants very quickly, physical work experience will not only look great on a CV but it will also prove to future employers that you are able to work in a kitchen environment. College is all well and good but you are always under carefully watched supervision of an instructor and let’s be honest, there will not be 100 customers complaining if you accidentally overcook a dish or if you are running behind on serving a starter up.

How to get a job

Firstly a decent CV is a good starting point. Most employers want to see that you can do the job, however, most often than not it’s a catch 22 situation; employers want experience and you can’t get experience without getting a job. Agencies are a good starting place and most will be well set up for dealing with young college leavers or those wanting to find employment within the catering industry. It may be worth checking out sites like if a career in the hospitality industry is the goal. Even the biggest chefs in the world had to start somewhere.

There are agencies spread across the country but most often than not with catering it is best to find an agency that specializes in sourcing employees for catering. There are many about but if you are looking for a chef agency London, Chefhelp may be a good bet.

The 2 L’s: Listen and Learn

Learn and listen. These are two very simple words that are often disregarded. It may look all glamour and glitz on the television but being a chef is hard work and you will not learn your trade properly if you are not able to listen to feedback and take it on board and learn from it. Nobody was born a chef and every single chef who started their trade started from the bottom and worked their way up.

Lastly, try not to get disheartened. There will be times when you feel like giving up when you feel like you are never going to find someone to take you on for work experience but with time, a good CV and an excellent attitude, there will be opportunities around every corner.