Ronald, 24, decided he needed to ‘earn as he learned’ instead of amassing huge student loans - so he ditched his studies at Kingston University and embarked on an apprenticeship at the four star Lancaster London hotel in Hyde Park – and has never looked back.
“It just made so much sense,” said Ronald. “Why rake up mounting loans when I could learn to do something I’d love and earn money to support myself at the same time?”
It was Ronald’s part-time job as a kitchen porter that gave him a taste for the chef’s life. “I used to watch the chefs and they inspired me,” he says.
Ronald is now nearing completion of his Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) in Professional Cookery with hospitality apprenticeship specialists HIT Training. He’s learnt much about the hospitality industry in general, and specifically about all sections of the Lancaster’s Island Grill restaurant.
He’s also worked large banqueting events of more than 1,000 guests, and is currently learning about room service and the pastry kitchen.
“Apprenticeships really give you a feel for the job,” he said. “The hands-on approach was the way forward for me and I’d recommend it to any young person. Why struggle and strive for a career that may never happen in this economic climate when you can ‘earn as you learn’ and enjoy a satisfying and fulfilling working life?”
Ronald’s trainer assessor, Janet Duncan of HIT West London, said: “Ronald has a real talent for cookery and is an outstanding student and a natural in the hospitality industry. He’s enthusiastic and a joy to work with.”