Become an Apprentice
The Commis Chef Apprenticeship is aimed at aspiring chefs who have a keen interest in and a creative flair for cooking. As with all career choices, it’s advisable to find out as much as possible about the work of a professional chef before deciding if it is the right career for you.
The National Commis Chef Apprenticeship Programme is the starting point for a career as a professional chef.
It follows the Earn & Learn model, blending off the job knowledge and skills development in an ETB Training Centre and on the job practical skills development with the apprentice's employer, within a formal, structured two year programme.
How to become an Apprentice Commis Chef
The Commis Chef Apprenticeship is aimed at aspiring chefs who have a keen interest in and a creative flair for cooking. As with all career choices, it’s advisable to find out as much as possible about the work of a professional chef before deciding if it is the right career for you. The best way of doing this is to talk to chefs about their work and spend some time employed in a professional kitchen to see what the work entails.
Is this program right for you?
Typical qualities found in learners who are pursuing a career in Professional Cookery include:
- Genuine passion for food
- Enjoy working with a team
- Can plan and work efficiently
To become an apprentice, you must obtain employment in a SOLAS approved professional kitchen (i.e hotel, restaurant, catering). The employer must be approved by SOLAS to train apprentices and must register you as an apprentice.
The apprentice’s terms and conditions of employment are agreed between each apprentice and their SOLAS approved employer.
Apprentices will be trained in a progressive manner under the watchful eye of a professionally qualified Chef Instructor. A blend of Off The Job and On The Job Training applies for 2 years as apprentices Earn While They Learn.
- Initial 3 week block release of intensive, structured learning in an ETB training centre (15 days)
- 2 days per week in ETB training kitchen, 3 days with Employer (2 years)
- July and August: 1 day with ETB, 4 days with Employer (2 years)
Apprentices will spend over 65% of their time with their SOLAS approved employer, being supported at all times by a dedicated and trained Workplace Mentor. Mentors shadow, coach, observe and guide the apprentice.
The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age.
The minimum education requirements are:
- a qualification placed at Level 4 of the National Framework of Qualifications (a Pass Leaving Certificate), OR
- have at least three years trade related experience.
Applicants should have minimum requirements relating to general learning; including speaking, listening and communication skills, and self-organisation skills.
The following qualifications will be accepted as indicating that these general learning requirements have been met:
- A qualification placed at Level 4 of the National Framework of Qualifications Framework.
- A minimum of 5 passes in a certificate placed at EQF Level 3 for holders of EU qualifications.
- A minimum English language competency of B2 in writing, reading, listening and speaking on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) is required at entry to the programme for speakers of English as a second or other language.
Upon successful completion, the newly qualified Commis Chef will receive a QQI Level 6 Major Award - Advanced Certificate in Culinary Arts.