An Edinburgh-based pub chain has launched a chef training programme specifically designed to help disadvantaged young people gain qualifications and employment. The programme operated by Beer for Good, the only social enterprise pub chain in Scotland, will train recruits in the kitchens of Harry’s Bar, which re-launched as a social enterprise last year.

A tapas menu, now available at Harry’s Bar, has been specifically developed by Head Chef Matthias Sandler to expose trainees to a wide range of cooking skills and ingredients. The Beer for Good training course will take place over three years, after which trainees will leave with an SVQ Level 5 in professional cookery. Over the three-year placement trainees will also gain experience in several types of kitchen to maximise their future employment opportunities.

Recruits will be referred from organisations such as The Prince’s Trust, which helps young people aged 13-30 gain employment and training. Beer for Good intends to set up a catering academy in the future and views the chef training programme as the first step. The chain, which currently operates several venues in Scotland, is hoping to expand throughout the country.

Beer for Good is just one in a string of socially-focused ventures founded by Chris Thewlis. The social enterprise guru also co-founded Ginerosity, which uses profits from making gin to fund international training placements, and security firm GTS, which enables disadvantaged people to gain training in security, first aid and manual handling among others..

Words: Jennifer McDowall


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