Cornwall Welcomes Fifteen Announcement
Following weeks of speculation that Jamie Oliver has chosen Cornwall as the next location for his internationally acclaimed Fifteen restaurant, the announcement that 'Fifteen Cornwall' will be created at the Extreme Academy, Watergate Bay near Newquay has been welcomed by tourism, regeneration and educational leaders throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The Extreme Academy's Beach Hut Bistro, already identified by The Observer Food Monthly as one of the "must do" restaurants in the world, will be fully remodelled and is scheduled to open in May 2006 as Fifteen Cornwall. Following the format of Jamie Oliver's original Fifteen restaurant in London, Fifteen Cornwall will sit alongside sister restaurants in London and Amsterdam.
The purpose of Fifteen is to inspire disadvantaged young people to believe that they can create for themselves a career in the restaurant business. Fifteen Cornish students between the ages of 16-24, all of whom will have been previously unemployed and from disadvantaged backgrounds, will be given the once in a lifetime opportunity to train and work in a restaurant, supported by professional chefs and college training. The Extreme Academy is delighted with the outcome of their discussions as there has been intense competition within the UK to find a suitable destination for the next Fifteen in this country. It was a potent combination of the quality of approach from Betty Hale and the Community Regeneration department from Restormel Borough Council, Cornwall's high profile, the fabulous location and the team at Watergate Bay which won the opportunity for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
It is almost three years since Channel Four's show, 'Jamie's Kitchen' followed the trials and tribulations of Jamie's attempts to open a restaurant and create chances for young people. Fifteen London is now supporting its fourth group of young people - all of them unemployed when recruited, many of them homeless or in care, others living with learning difficulties.
Established as a social enterprise, all profits from the Fifteen restaurants go to the Fifteen Foundation, which provides these young people with the working environment in which to expand their knowledge and practical experience. In Cornwall all profits from Fifteen Cornwall will go to The Cornwall Foundation of Promise. Importantly, as well as their focus on training and developing 15 students into their new careers, Fifteen is committed to using only the very best quality produce. Trainees are taken on field trips to learn more about where the produce they cook with comes from, and it is hoped that Cornwall's wonderful local produce will also benefit from the arrival of Fifteen in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Support for bringing Fifteen to Cornwall came from a proactive public sector, and a comprehensive presentation was put together and taken to the Fifteen Foundation, finding favour with the team of professionals on its Board in London.
Will Ashworth, director of the Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay is particularly pleased with the announcement, "There are a lot of exciting opportunities in catering and hospitality in Cornwall, but I think many young people are failing to connect with what this could mean for them – good jobs which are part of our economic revival and which can be really creative and interesting too. We have an excellent young team at Watergate Bay who work hard and have a lot of fun as well, and we want to help connect more young people with the opportunities in our sector. The inspiration from Fifteen will help us make those connections."
Henry Ashworth, founder of the Extreme Academy, added that the benefits of bringing Fifteen to Watergate Bay would stretch far beyond the initial intake of trainees to other young people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly: "Fifteen Cornwall gives us a chance to inspire some of the communities that have lost their traditional core industries, particularly farming, fishing and mining. It's an opportunity for Cornish youngsters who may feel that they haven't got great opportunities to seize a once in a lifetime chance to develop a world class career. The graduates of Fifteen Cornwall have the potential to become ambassadors for other young people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, showing them that there are fantastic opportunities within the tourism and catering sectors which now form such an important part of Cornwall's year round economy.
"Fifteen Cornwall will not only play an important part in the lives of the young chefs who are being given the opportunity to turn their lives around and aspire to achieve greatness, it will also bring attention to local produce and raise awareness of the increasingly excellent restaurants in Cornwall, adding to Cornwall's strength as a destination of choice with visitors in the UK and overseas."
Jamie Oliver's profile has proved a powerful draw for the media and his vision in establishing Fifteen has seen him rewarded with an MBE. His recent campaign to improve the quality of school dinners has seen him establish great connections with the younger generation, and getting students to consider a career in catering and hospitality chimes well with initiatives in Cornwall where the benefits to the local economy of providing good quality training and year round jobs in the catering professions are recognised.
Immediately there will be some very exciting job opportunities created at Watergate Bay in setting up the infrastructure to recruit, train and sustain the new trainees. A charitable foundation, to be known as 'The Cornwall Foundation of Promise', is currently being formed and will be shortly recruiting a full time general manager and student welfare manager. Board members are also being sought to guide the operation of the Cornwall Foundation of Promise. Anyone interested in being a board member should contact Henry Ashworth at the Extreme Academy.
There will also be opportunities for top catering professionals to get involved as Fifteen Cornwall will soon start looking for a Head Chef and a Training and Development Chef. Information about job opportunities at Fifteen Cornwall along with downloadable application forms will shortly be available at www.fifteencornwall.co.uk.
Henry Ashworth added: "We want the very best team of people to produce the highest quality students who will emerge from their time at Fifteen Cornwall with the skills, confidence and panache to be world class chefs, helping Cornwall develop its position as a major centre of culinary excellence in the UK."
Councillor Mrs Annette Egerton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Regeneration at Restormel Borough Council says: "I am really delighted that the Fifteen Foundation has chosen The Beach Hut at Watergate Bay as the only other Fifteen Restaurant in the UK. This is really building on all the work we have undertaken to regenerate the Newquay area as the surf capital of the UK. Newquay's vision to be a global tourism player is coming to fruition. That Jamie Oliver and his Foundation have chosen Newquay, along with Amsterdam for the Fifteen concept is remarkable. It is such a coup for all who worked to put together the proposal. I'm really pleased that our Community Regeneration Team, particularly Betty Hale, have been instrumental in assisting with the project. Fifteen fits with all our regeneration priorities – high quality skills training and support, a social enterprise, use of local produce and a long term commitment from both the public and private sector."
Deputy CEO of Cornwall College, Debbie Wilshire, adds: "Cornwall College is delighted to be a founding partner of Fifteen in Cornwall. This development puts a welcome spotlight on producing high quality food in a dynamic and exciting environment, it's especially important that this is being targeted at young people who are most in need of an innovative approach. Having visited Fifteen in London and met the trainees and seen the difference that Fifteen can make I can't wait for Fifteen in Cornwall to start making the same difference." Cornwall College will be involved in providing elements of the training for the students at Fifteen, and provide training for young people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly going into the restaurant business.
Regeneration experts have also been quick to see the benefits of Fifteen coming to Cornwall. Director of the Objective One Partnership, Carleen Kelemen comments: "The establishment of the Cornwall Foundation of Promise has an exceptionally strong strategic fit with the goals of the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in terms of its mission of active support for the economically disengaged, particularly in terms of finding innovative ways of engaging with those economically inactive with long standing barriers to engagement in the economy, many of whom are not on Job Seekers Allowance. The development of Fifteen in Cornwall would provide an important strategic lever crossing both the tourism and food sectors and the provision of training that supports them. There is a strong and growing synergy between the development of year round tourism products, based on nationally and internationally renowned destinations such as Eden, Tate St Ives and the National Maritime Museum and the provision of local quality food and hospitality. The Cornwall Foundation of Promise would therefore bring considerable iconic added value to the joint strategic development of these sectors."
Stephen Bohane, the South West RDA's Director of Operations for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly says: "This is great news for Cornwall and a well deserved win for all involved. The South West RDA recognises the importance of ensuring economic benefits and opportunities are available for all, which will be achieved by the Fifteen concept which delivers business development of a social enterprise, encouraging participation and economic inclusion, and will help target business sectors which include food, drink and tourism.
"Cornwall College have catering training centres in Pool and St Austell, both areas which are being targeted for economic revivals of their own, as is Newquay. Again, this shows a network of opportunity developing across Cornwall for our young people and demonstrates economic strategy working for all."
The importance of building on Cornwall's growing reputation for the standard of its cuisine is appreciated by South West Tourism, who, as part of their new regional tourism strategy are working to raise the quality of the visitor experience as well as marketing the diversity of the region's appeal to tourists.
Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of South West Tourism says: "Having a Fifteen Restaurant at Watergate Bay will be a major boost to Cornwall's profile. In a world where people have thousands of choices of where to go on holiday it is vital that destinations can maintain a high profile in the media. The existing international profile of Jamie's Fifteen Restaurants combined with the profile of Cornwall make a powerful tool to keep the South West at the front of people's minds when they are choosing where to go on holiday. The overall standard of Cornwall's culinary offering has improved significantly in recent years so that visitors are presented with a virtually endless choice of places to enjoy great food, in a diverse range of styles to suit all pockets. The feedback that we get from visitors is that they rate the quality of food served in Cornwall very highly. This is a really important message for people who may not have visited the country for a long time – having a Fifteen Restaurant will help Cornwall to capitalise on offering visitors a great package of things to do, attractions to see, rounded off with top quality food and drink."
To equip Fifteen with its all important young talent, Connexions Cornwall and Devon, the region's specialist careers and youth advisory service, will be working with Jamie Oliver's team to help them find potential candidates for this exciting opportunity. "We're particularly excited about this news," says Tom Whitworth, Director of Operations Connexions Cornwall and Devon. "It's very important that we have aspirational projects like this in Cornwall that will motivate and inspire the county's young people to rise to personal and work challenges. We're really keen to support all young people so that they are "the best" in whatever their chosen field of work. We'll be helping the team at Fifteen find the right "pool" of candidates for this great opportunity. With our knowledge of the world of work we can work with the young people to help them prepare for the particular challenges of the catering industry and we're greatly looking forward to this important project that will showcase our young people."
Jobcentre Plus has supported the development of the Cornwall Fifteen project by providing information on the local labour market and the potential funding options for delivering the training aspect of the project. Jobcentre Plus will continue to work in partnership with Fifteen and the team at Watergate Bay to identify, recruit and support participants throughout the project. Carolyn Webster, Cornwall Business Development manager for Jobcentre Plus in Devon and Cornwall said: "This is fantastic news and just the sort of boost Cornwall needs to encourage young people to train and work in the catering industry. I have been really impressed with the enthusiasm and determination of the team at Watergate Bay to bring this together, and with their genuine desire to give people who are disadvantaged in the labour market an opportunity that will make a real difference to their lives."
For further information please contact Laura Tregonning of Deborah Clark and Associates Ltd on 01872 276276 or email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Job Centre Plus through the European Social Fund (ESF).
For further details, please contact:
Marketing, Watergate Bay Hotel & Extreme Academy
Tel: 01637 860840
Deborah Clark, Deborah Clark & Associates Ltd
(PR on behalf of Watergate Bay Hotel)
Tel: 01872 276276
Anouschka Menzies, Bacchus PR
(PR on behalf of Fifteen)
Tel: 0208 9680202
Peter Berry, The Outside Organisation
(PR on behalf of Jamie Oliver)
Tel: 0207 436 3633
HOW TO BE A PART OF FIFTEEN CORNWALL
The next step for applications or further information
Now that it has been announced that there will be the opportunity for 15 young people in Cornwall to be part of a world class hospitality operation offering a unique training opportunity it is anticipated that there will be strong interest from people wanting to be part of this exciting new venture.
The recruitment process will be starting in the autumn with the Fifteen Cornwall website, www.fifteencornwall.co.uk going live from early September. The website will contain information about job opportunities, eligibility criteria and a downloadable application form.
Who is eligible?
The Fifteen Foundation only recruits trainees between the ages of 16 and 24 who are suffering from some form of social disadvantage and are unemployed at the time of their application.
There is no hard and fast definition of what is classed as a 'disadvantage' but it can include homelessness, learning difficulties, a criminal record, addiction and a large number of other circumstances which may inhibit entry to work.
Young people between the ages of 16-24 who are in any doubt about their eligibility for this project should apply and the Cornwall Foundation of Promise will check eligibility for applicants.
Targeting deprived areas of Cornwall
In order to reach young people facing the greatest disadvantages brought about by the decline of Cornwall's traditional industries of mining, agriculture and fishing, recruitment will be targeted towards 18 areas within Cornwall which have previously been identified by Objective One as deprived wards requiring targeted regeneration activity.
The 18 wards are:
Bodmin St Mary's
Bodmin St Petroc
Camborne North, South & West
Illogan North & South
Mount Charles (St Austell)
Penzance Promenade and South
Redruth North & South
St Blaise (St. Blazey)
Applications will also be considered from applicants living in other areas of Cornwall providing that they meet the criteria.
There are currently around 1,000 young people in the target age group in these wards who are unemployed or not in education and claiming benefits.
Support for trainees
In addition to training opportunities and greater employment prospects, the trainees of Fifteen Cornwall will be given support to help them with whatever their particular personal problems might be that have previously prevented them from finding permanent employment. This could include getting over an addiction, finding accommodation, assistance with transport or accessing counselling.
Location and format of training
Before Christmas the first intake of fifteen trainees will start their 12 week basic training course at Cornwall College to take them to NVQ Level 1 in Food Preparation.
The students will follow a syllabus tailored specifically to the requirements of the Fifteen Foundation.
Following the completion of their college course, the students will undertake a two week restaurant kitchen placement before starting their worked-based training in the Fifteen Cornwall kitchen at Watergate Bay ahead of the opening of the restaurant, which is scheduled for May 2006.
Tuition from national and local culinary talent
The day to day running of the kitchen at Fifteen Cornwall will be under the supervision of an Executive Head Chef.
A team of 15 talented and highly experienced chefs will also be recruited to provide one-on-one tutorage and support for the trainee chefs. There will also be a further 15 staff to perform additional roles within the kitchen plus additional front of house staff.
Life after Fifteen Cornwall
Following their year's placement and training at Fifteen Cornwall the graduates will receive help from The Cornwall Foundation of Promise to secure positions in high quality restaurants in the region.
The Cornwall Foundation of Promise will make a lifetime career commitment to all trainees that they take on so that wherever they work they will always be part of the Fifteen family and will be able to call on the foundation for advice and guidance.
Additional opportunities for unsuccessful applicants
Each Autumn a new intake of 15 trainees will be taken on by Fifteen Cornwall to start their training at Cornwall College and work at the restaurant in Watergate Bay.
Cornwall College will be assessing the needs of individual applicants who have not been successful in their application to Fifteen Cornwall. Where appropriate the College will offer training to suit the needs of the individual.
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Objective One Partnership Office
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