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Apprentices put on their business hats as they take on trading challenge at Borough Market


On Friday 7 March 2014, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Apprentices will go head to head with chefs from Lexington Catering’s Chef Apprenticeship Scheme, Lex School of Talent, to compete for business at Borough Market.

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, 3-7 March, the apprentices will have three days to plan and prepare hot food to sell at Borough in an ‘Apprentice’ style challenge. 

Now in its sixth year, the challenge has been designed to help apprentices develop a valuable taste of the skills needed in a business environment. The teams will be required to put knowledge into practice, thinking commercially in order to source their ingredients, pass the Borough Market tasting panel and sell their produce.

The apprentices will start their day at the Market at 10am when they ring the bell to open the Market, they will then have until 2.45pm on their stalls in the Green Market to sell as much as they can. The winners will be the team that generates the most profit, of which will be donated to a charity of their choice. 

Murray Tapiki, Development Chef at Lexington said: “The challenge is so much fun for everyone involved – it highlights just how passionate our apprentices are about food and their day job. It’s a great opportunity to get the guys out of the kitchen and into a different working environment, where they can showcase their skills, have fun and learn from one another in the process. It has already created such a buzz and excitement, which is what learning should be about. “

Tromie Dodd, the Programme Manager at Fifteen’s Apprentice Programme said: “This annual Apprentice Challenge is a great way for our apprentices to demonstrate all they have learnt so far.
Working with colleagues from Lexington they must plan, prepare, produce and ‘sell’ a food product in just three days. It’s going to be a hectic few days and the teams are going to need to keep their cool in a highly pressured environment but it will be an event to remember and something that they will cherish forever!”

The competition offers a unique learning experience whilst having fun at the same time. It encourages apprentices to focus on a variety of skills required to progress in their career. These include commercial understanding, leadership, building working relationships and team work, organisation and planning, decision-making, problem-solving and time management.