Chelsea Gibson, 25, is proof of just how vital training and development programmes are in enabling young people to pursue their passions in the hospitality industry. Having previously worked in the care sector, Chelsea heard about Greene King and The Prince’s Trust Get into Hospitality scheme from her career advisor at Spear.

I had been working as a carer for a couple of years, but I didn’t feel passionate about what I was doing. I’ve wanted to be a chef for as long as I can remember, it’s my dream to one day open up my own restaurant. When I heard about the Get into Hospitality programme, it seemed to be the perfect way for me to take the first steps towards my dream career, so I jumped at the chance.

The programme was so interesting, with a really good mix of classroom learning and first-hand experience in a pub. I knew that the places on the course were limited and in demand, so I wanted to make the most of the opportunity. I went in with the goal of learning as much as I could, and to gain skills which would allow me to secure a job within the hospitality industry, with the eventual aim of becoming part of the kitchen team.

Thankfully when I completed the programme I was offered a job at The Salt Quay and soon after joining I took the opportunity to enrol as an apprentice on a level 2 qualification.

My role at The Salt Quay means I am able to be in the kitchen full-time which I absolutely love. I’m learning every day, both through the work and the support of everyone around me. To anyone who is thinking about working in the hospitality industry, my advice would be to take the plunge – I still think it’s amazing that people are enjoying dishes that I’ve made.

I really like that I’m working towards a proper qualification as well, it makes everything I’m doing official and shows that I’m making real progress. I’m well on my way to achieving my dream.