5 May 2016

A work placement at one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants has led to a full-time job for Telford College of Arts and Technology (TCAT) student James Watkins.

The 18-year-old chef, from Donnington, has been taken on as a trainee chef at Jamie’s Italian in Birmingham after impressing staff during a week of work experience in the kitchens.

James said:

“I feel great about TCAT and how much the college has set up a great life for me. I am very thankful for everyone who has supported me through everything, and can’t wait now to see what my future holds.”

James had initially signed up on a Level 1 construction course at TCAT, but decided to make a switch after 12 months to pursue his love of cooking.

He moved onto a culinary course, and said it was the best decision he could possibly have made.

“We were offered the opportunity of a week’s work placement at Jamie’s Italian Birmingham, and I said I would be interested.

“On the last day of my work placement, I got offered a job to take when I leave college as a trainee chef, preparing food and cooking.”

Hannah Nugent, General Manager of Jamie’s Italian, said:

“It has been great working with Telford College – James was really professional and fitted in with our family straight away.

“By the end of his training week he had become an integral part of the team, and we would love to work with him one day as a full-time member of our kitchen brigade.

“If all Telford College students are like James, then we would be happy to take on more apprenticeships in the future.”