Course basket

Your basket is empty.
Website search function
Hospitality, Tourism & Sport

Catering and Professional Chefs - Apprenticeship Level 2

Start Date: 4th September 2023
Code: PWFB01813

  • Further Education
  • Full-time
  • Ballymena
  • Course Information
  • Applications are closed. To register your interest contact our Admissions Team.


Duration: Up to 2 Years Full-time
Start date: 4th September 2023
End date: 13th June 2025
Information Event: Yes

Course fee: FREE (Eligibility criteria may apply)

What is an Apprenticeship?

As an apprenticeship you are employed as full-time members of staff and typically work for an employer three to four days a week. One or two days a week is spent at college, studying for nationally-recognised qualifications in the same profession as the apprenticeship.

  • You must find your own employer
  • Some employers may requiree GCSEs on entry
  • It might be possible to do an apprenticeship with a current employer
  • You work all year round, but your College classes run from September to July
  • Employers pay for the day the apprentice is in college, meaning you will receive a full-time wage at least in accordance with the national minimum wage

Details and restrictions

  • Apprentices must be aged 16 or above. Restrictions apply for those over 25. (Age restrictions are currently under review by the Department for the Economy)
  • Employers must be based in Northern Ireland
  • Apprenticeships are part-funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund (ESF) and the Department for the Economy (DfE)



Course Content

An apprenticeship in Catering and Professional Chefs combines the practical hands-on experience of the workplace with the knowledge and understanding and practical skills gained in the college classroom and work.

Units include:

  • Developing skills for employment in the Catering and Hospitality Industry.
  • Food safety in catering.
  • Health and safety in catering.
  • Nutritional and special diets in catering.
  • Kitchen operations, costs and menu planning.
  • Applying workplace skills.
  • Prepare and cook sauces, stocks, soups, fruit and vegetables, meat and offal, poultry, fish and shellfish, pasta and rice grains and egg dishes, desserts and puddings and bakery products.

What will I gain? 

  • Technical Award Certificate in Hospitality & Catering Principles and NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery.
  • Good practical skills.
  • The ability to work as part of a team.
  • Essential Skills in Numeracy, Literacy and ICT 
  • Access to the Digital Learning Environment (DLE)

Meet the Apprentice

James and Jason share their experiences on what it is like to work, earn and learn with an apprenticeship.

James Blair Professional Cookery


Jason McCorkell Professional Cookery

Meet the Employer

Galgorm have worked closely with the College over the last few years on the apprenticeship programme taking on professional cookery and food and beverage apprentices offering a rewarding career in the hospitality industry.  Richard McGowan, Staff Engagement Officer from Galgorm explains more.


Richard McGowan 

Special Features

  • Visits to Hotels and restaurants
  • Guest speakers, e.g. professional chefs, hotel managers, Environmental Health Officers etc.
  • CIEH Level 2 Award in food safety
  • Competition Work.
  • You will be allocated a personal tutor to help you throughout the course. The College also offers learning support and guidance.

Assessment Methods

Continuous assessment throughout the course and online portfolio building.

Course Update

Please note that due to ongoing major campus construction projects courses at Ballymena, Coleraine and Ballymoney may be relocated to alternative suitable locations as required.

  • You must be in paid employment at least 21 hours per week including college day release.
  • You must be aged 16–24 (currently under review by the Department for the Economy)
  • Apply online and attend an information session.
  • Take part in an aptitude test (if applicable).

In circumstances where there are more applications for the course than there are places available, the College reserves the right to select candidates from those achieving the highest grades.

Following successful completion of the Level 2 ApprenticeshipsNI you may be able to progress to an ApprenticeshipsNI Level 3 or employment in the field you have studied in.

Trostan Avenue Building
Trostan Avenue
BT43 7BN
028 2563 6221



This course is also available in other NRC campuses.

Latest Vacancies Apprenticeship FAQs

Essential Skills

All full-time students at Northern Regional College have the opportunity to improve their English, Maths and ICT skills and gain qualifications. The qualification you take will depend on the qualification you already have. If you do not have a grade C or above in GCSE English, Maths or ICT, you MUST complete Essential Skills; this will form a compulsory part of your timetable. If you are planning to go on to further study (for example university), please check if a GCSE qualification (rather than Essential Skills Level 2 equivalent) is required. For those who have a GCSE grade D in Maths or English, we offer a GCSE fast-track course.

Show Essential Skills courses