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Apprentice Commis Chef
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF44438

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 19/06/2023

Job live date: 19/04/2023

Salary: £20,880 per annum + Enhanced pay for Evenings/Weekends

Employment type: AOS-Manual

Department: Campus Commerce

Division: Catering Hotel & Conference Services

Hours Per Week:: 36 hours/week

Employment Basis/Type: Full Time, Fixed Term

Exciting opportunity at the University of Reading for an aspiring chef who shares our passion for great food! We are looking for an Apprentice Commis Chef to work in our Aspiring Chef team while completing the Level 2 Commis Chef apprenticeship.

You will complete the Level 2 Commis Chef apprenticeship, with training 1 day per week at Reading College (Activate Learning) during working hours. At the end of your apprenticeship you will complete the End Point Assessment, which will consist of a knowledge test, practical assessment, and professional discussion. After completion of the apprenticeship and End Point Assessment, there will be the possibility of permanent employment and/or progression to a higher level apprenticeship for the right candidates.

We are a relatively small team, so all our Chefs regularly move between sites, trading in different styles. We encourage everyone to contribute to the up-coming menus and are looking forward to holding development days where your creativity is only limited by your mind! All our colleagues play an equally important part in our operations, regardless of their role, and we promote a respectful work environment for all.

We are different so forget any ideas of what you think we do….

We produce fresh, nutritious and tasty dishes from scratch, with our menus changing daily and following seasonality across six kitchens. ‘Remarkable Kitchens at a Remarkable University’ was how Radio 4’s Food Programme summed us up after visiting us. Our love of food is in the DNA of the University, as a global leader in teaching and research in and around Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Sustainability as well as having our own farms that supply our kitchens. We are following an ambitious vision to be the best!

We are committed to the 24 Principles of Menus of Change, guiding our thinking around nutrition and sustainability. We are the first European Member of the Menus of Change Universities Research Collaborative (MCURC). MCURC is a group of 70 like-minded Universities committed to using academic and operational research to improve the health of individuals and the planet. Visit to find out more.

How we work

You will be working 36 hours each week arranged over 5 days per week (including one day at College during term time), normally Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Saturday (exact pattern of work to be agreed). We pay additional top-ups to monthly pay for early morning, evening and weekend working.

Our Kitchens operate 7am to 11pm, seven days per week, for 31 weeks (term time), however, the Kitchen operation continues year round.

We generally don’t permit holiday to be taken during term time (unless for your birthday, school half terms, eloping etc). Outside of term time (21 weeks) we are quieter and encourage holidays to be taken, with around half our sites closed.

You’ll find lots more information about us at, our home page for students who regularly eat with us.


To be eligible for an apprenticeship, at the start of the apprenticeship you must:

  • be aged 16 or over
  • not already be in full-time education
  • live in England

For more information, please see the Apprenticeships page

If you have any further questions regarding your eligibility for an apprenticeship, please contact the Apprenticeships National Helpdesk at 08000 150 400


How you apply

We understand that the application processes can be time consuming, so our application form is quick and easy to complete, taking no more than 30 minutes of your time. We ask that you write two or three paragraphs before starting the application form telling us about your passion for great food and cooking, your experience of working as part of a team and anything else you feel would be of interest to us! Please copy and paste this into the “Supporting Information” section of the application form as you complete it. Ensure you have any paperwork to hand relating School, College or University qualifications, Food Safety and key employment/work experience dates.  Don’t worry if you don’t have much to include just now, this is all part of the apprenticeship journey.

If your initial application is successful, the next stage is an informal 45 minute discussion via Microsoft Teams (free to download) with you on your food journey both as a chef and an individual. This is also a chance to find out more about us, so a great opportunity to ask whatever you wish. We don’t expect or want you to prepare answers for this, we aren’t looking to catch you out in any way!

The final stage is for you to come into one of our kitchens for around 4 hours to see how you work as part of a team and for us to assess your interest and aptitude for cooking. Our friendly team will make you feel welcome and support you during this. Again, we aren’t looking to catch you out, we will be solely focused on your ability to cook and to work as part of a team. This may include asking you to prepare a practical idea before arriving and then cooking/implementing it when on-site.

If you want to come on board, hit ‘Apply for job’ now and we look forward to meeting you. 

Don't be put off by the length of time before the closing date either, we will review applications as they are submitted, so don't wait until the last minute to apply - Good luck!

Please note that applications will be shared with the Apprenticeship Training Provider (Activate Learning) so that they can assess candidate eligibility and suitability for the apprenticeship.  In addition, successful candidates will be required to complete literacy and numeracy tests, a residency check and an interview with the Activate Learning prior to being accepted onto the apprenticeship.

Informal contact details

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role:

Executive Chef

Contact role:

Head of Bars and Dining

Contact name:

Karlene Gaskell

Contact name:

Matt Tebbit

Contact email:

Contact email:

Closing Date: 19th June 2023

Interview Date: W/B 3rd July 2023

The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce, supports the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and the Race Equality Charter, and champions LGBT+ rights equality. Applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements are welcomed and will be considered in line with business needs.



Get in touch

If you have a question or want to find out more about working at the University of Reading get in touch:

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