Chef Apprentice (RFA)

Service:Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Branch:Logistics
Level:Rating
Hospitality
Food and drink
Catering
Civilians
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The role at a glance

What you’ll do

It’s not just our engines that need fuel, our people do too. As a Chef Apprentice, you’re the person who provides it, with three square meals every day. The nutritious food you provide will keep your crewmates going, so they can keep our ships moving. Alongside the Head Chef you’ll learn all about high-pressure, high-volume cooking, as well as gaining skills in fine dining. From day one you’ll be travelling the world, using new ingredients and experiencing things you’d never encounter in a civilian apprenticeship.You’ll receive accelerated training, so you can be part of the team that maintains, services and inspects the Fleet Air Arm’s helicopters and fighter jets. They can’t fly unless everything is safe – and that’s where you come in. Unlike comparable civilian roles, you’ll quickly find yourself in charge of some of the most sophisticated kit in existence, as you join as a Probationary Leading Hand – two ranks higher than most Engineering Technicians.

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The role

  • Start your professional cookery career by learning how to use a variety of ingredients and styles. You’ll work under the guidance of an experienced Head Chef, creating varied menus for the entire crew.
  • Outside of the galley, you’ll have crucial duties to perform as part of the ship’s company, including firefighting, first aid, and being a member of the damage control team.
  • Unlike most civilian apprenticeships, you’ll have real responsibility from the day you start, working in challenging environments all over the world. The ship’s galley is hot and hectic, so you’ll need to have a calm temperament at all times.
  • It’s your job to make the ship feel like a home from home for your crewmates. Many of them will be at sea for months at a time and will look forward to the food you cook, whether it’s Friday Fish, or dinner for a social event.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Gain an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery
  • MCA certification that is financially supported by the RFA

Skills you'll develop

  • An in-depth knowledge of high-volume, high-pressure cooking
  • The ability to manage stores and ingredients, while creating interesting menus for a ship’s company

 

On completion of your Apprenticeship, you may be offered a full Company Service Contract as an Assistant Cook

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • You’ll need to be aged 16 to 99
  • There are no minimum qualifications for this role
  • Applicants must be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens. However, a number of career paths have nationality restrictions. Dual Nationality will be considered providing the first nationality is British. Note: Residency restrictions may apply

Skills and interests

  • A passion for food and hospitality
  • Great at working as part of a team
  • First-class communication
  • A sense of adventure
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

  • Apply – Fill in an online application form
  • Eligibility – We will request copies of certification to ascertain your suitability for the role
  • Psychometric test – You will be asked to attend an Armed Forces Careers Office close to your home where you will conduct a psychometric test. Prepare by doing our practise test here.
  • Sift – Your application will go forward for sift by a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who will check that you have the knowledge and potential to succeed in your chosen role
  • Training – If successful, you will be offered a place at HMS Sultan, HMS Raleigh, or HMS Collingwood, depending on your apprenticeship where you will begin your initial training

Initial training

As an apprentice you’ll combine real work with on and off the job training. You’ll complete 30 weeks training at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall, including your MCA basic safety training, before embarking on your first phase of sea training. After this, you take leave, then your second sea phase.