Newcastle College competition shines spotlight on talented chefs

Students and apprentices from Newcastle College showcased their talents as NCG, the national college group, hosted its skills competition finals as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

Sponsored by apprenticeship awarding body VTCT and end-point assessor NOCN, the competition gives students and apprentices the opportunity to display their skills, meet employers, and win a place at the WorldSkills UK competition.

The competition was won by 19-year-old Anthony Reay from Hexham, who showed off the skills he has acquired as an apprentice at Hexham-based Michelin star restaurant Hjem. The three finalists, including Anthony from Newcastle College and two learners from Carlisle College, competed to serve the best three course meal for Craig Harvey, managing director of St Mary’s Inn and Robby Scott, managing director of Babuchos.

Anthony said: “I really enjoyed the competition; it was something new and it was good to compete against students from another college. It definitely added value to my apprenticeship, especially because I learned new skills and recipes preparing for the competition. I’m looking forward to using my new skills in my apprenticeship and seeing what opportunities will open up for me in the future.”

Scott Bullock, principal at Newcastle College, said: “The NCG skills competition offers a fantastic opportunity for our learners to showcase their talents within a range of industries including hair and beauty, plumbing and carpentry. The competition allows students to display their skills to industry specific judges, as well as their peers and tutors, which encourages them to train for success, builds their confidence and connections with potential future employers – providing both motivation and future opportunities. We’re very grateful to the sponsors and to our judges, with whom we enjoy fantastic partnerships.”

The final front of house competition for hospitality students was hosted at Newcastle College’s Chefs’ Academy with a judging panel made up of local business owners. The competition was won by Newcastle-based Georgina Hunter – who currently works at Salters in Cullercoats alongside her studies.

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