Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 612

11 AUGUST 202 2 9 NEWS&VI EWS Awave of new apprenticeship schemes aim to kickstart restaurant industry careers to tackle a sta shortage caused by Brexit andCovid. Rick Stein andD&DLondon, the chain which includes 100Wardour Street in London’s Soho, opened applications for apprenticeships earlier this year, and JKS Restaurants, home toMichelinstarred Sabor and Gymkhana in London, has followed suit. Themove comes as figures released last month by the O ce for National Statistics show there are an estimated 176,000 accommodation and food service vacancies across the sector. JKS cofounder and people director Sunaina Sethi says their motivation is to highlight hospitality as a positive career choice and combat sta shortages. With 11 JKS apprenticeship places available, candidates will be o ered an £18,000 salary and the chance to work both front and back of house across the group’s 13 restaurants. The scheme also includes quarterly opportunities to dine with JKS, plus trips to farms, breweries and vineyards. “There’s beenunderrepresentation for hospitality as a viable career WEEKEND SNAPSHOT Prize peony Its rarity, perfume, free-åowering characteristic and beauty have seen this blowsy peony winning Threatened Plant of the Year, an annual competition held by conservation charity Plant Heritage. Paeonia Gleam of Light hasn’t been on sale for more than äve years. The only recorded location is in winner Roz Cooper’s County Durham garden. “I’m thrilled that my peony has won,” says Roz. “Gleam of Light was available to buy for more than 60 years before it fell out of nursery catalogues. It’d be wonderful to discover more examples of it in the future.” Apprentices o er a taste of things to come for hospitality sector choice for school and university leavers to date. The skills you acquire and the growth potential available shouldmake it just as appealing as any other graduate schemes,” says Sunaina. “We’ve lost considerable numbers of the workforce due to Brexit and Covid, but hope that schemes like this will showcase howwe can nurture and upskill homegrown talent.” Lancashire’sMichelin-starred Northcote also plans to take on five kitchen apprentices to work alongside executive chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen for two years. Alice Ryan career path Apprenticeships at restaurants such as Gymkhana (above) will help build careers in hospitality Prince salutes decade of farming innovation HRHThe Prince of Wales has praised the ‘remarkable’ work of the farmer-led research network Innovative Farmers at an event to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The Prince joined 150 people on a Cornish farmtomark the occasion. Innovative Farmers has pioneered research and sustainable farmingmethods, withmore than 120 field labs (on-farm trials) that have been awarded more than £450,000 in grants. The network is funded by The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund through sales ofWaitrose Duchy Organic products. During the event, at Trefranck Farmnear Launceston, Cornwall, The Princemet trialists from several field labs, including one investigating livingmulches, where crops are sown into a permanent understory of clover to reduce the need for ploughing, artificial fertilisers and weedkiller. “I’mparticularly interested in livingmulches, which is the next interesting and very critical area I think I shall be particularly fascinated to see,” he said. “I’ve always felt that nature herself has so celebration HRH The Prince of Wales cuts a cake to mark the 10th anniversary at a Cornish farm where trialists demonstrated their pioneering work many of the answers, and that if we read the book of nature carefully enough, we discover that she’s created this astonishing –miraculous, really – waste-free circularity.” Farmers and researchers shared insights and hosted demonstrations to highlight pioneering work, such as using satellite data tomanage grassland and combining trees with farmanimals in agroforestry. Events tomark the 10th anniversary are taking place across the country, and horticulturalist and former Soil Association president Monty Don will also highlight the network when presenting the BBC’s Radio 4 Appeal, a weekly programme highlighting the work of a charity, on Sunday 28 August on behalf of the Soil Association. Anna-Marie Julyan Photography: Emily Fleur/Innovative Farmers, Caroline Stone