JKS reignite apprenticeship program for 2023

The London-based group behind some of the capitals best restaurants including Gymkhana, Trishna, BAO and Plaza Khao Gaeng are once again calling on emerging talent to join its ranks.

Last year the group launched its first apprenticeship scheme and now JKS are calling on a fresh intake of recruits to join the program in September this year. Speaking on the differences between this year’s scheme and last year’s intake, Lauren Polson, who heads the apprenticeship program noted “The big news is the wage increase for the candidates, up from £18,000 to £20,000. There’s also a more robust framework in terms of L&D, as well as the introduction of Speedboat Bar to the mix of restaurants.”

The chefs and front of house candidates have access to a wide range of restaurants in the group, including the acclaimed Kitchen Table and the buzzy, more casual BAO and Plaza Khao Geng.

“One of the things which came out of last year, one apprentice really wanted to be at Lyle’s, but after a while they fell in love with Plaza and is now placed there permanently”.

“Our [fine dining] restaurants can be a high pressure environment, but our apprentices thrived and I think it actually opened the eyes of restaurants like Kitchen Table, to how great and eager these apprentices can be.”

JKS have also worked hard to ensure a diverse talent pool is engaged for the scheme, attracting new staff from various walks of life.

“We’ve always had an immense amount of diversity. Last year’s age range was 18-36 which for an apprentice scheme was huge. We work with DWP, local charities and school career days across London and beyond to get the word out to a diverse audience.”

As well as the increase wages received by the apprentices, up more than 10% from last year, one of the key cornerstones of the 2023 project is that the new starters are treated as a normal full-time member of the team, with all the usual company perks.

“There are quarterly opportunities to dine at JKS restaurants, trips with JKS suppliers to farms, vineyards and breweries and discounted gym membership: all the staff benefits. Alongside that we regularly do supplier visits to Natoora or Reach Foods, we did a whole sustainability series in which we went to an inner city farm to see how it works. There’s all these added layers.”

The scheme marks a renewed focus on staff recruitment at the entry level and JKS is hoping the enriched experience for new people joining the industry pays off as they aim to retain these new apprentices.  

The program starts in September but applications are open now. If you know anyone who might be interested in the JKS apprenticeship scheme, contact chris@jksrestaurants.com

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