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Project information

Fifteen Cornwall Apprentice Programme

Fifteen Cornwall is a restaurant that trains young unemployed people to work in the hospitality industry, turning round the lives of youngsters with few career prospects who are not in education, training or employment. Each year Fifteen recruits 30 people & teaches them to become professional chefs

Fifteen Cornwall is an ongoing project with an annual intake of apprentices. It was founded in 2006 and continues to train disadvantaged young people to become professional chefs. 2012 marked the 6th year of the training programme.

Charity information: Cornwall Foundation of Promise

Cornwall Foundation of Promise logo
  • Need


    Fifteen Cornwall offers a college qualification and on-the-job learning to young people who are in need of a break in life. Fifteen Cornwall aims to ‘reengage the disengaged’ by giving unemployed people living in Cornwall a new career opportunity; the majority of the recruits have faced challenging obstacles and are in need of a fresh start. They’re integrated into a world class restaurant and work alongside a team of professional chefs and a dedicated team of programme supporters.


    Fifteen Cornwall offers something very special: a trade which Jamie Oliver has made cool, a new sense of purpose and positive social networks. Today, in Britain, there are 874,000 young people not in education, training or employment; Fifteen Cornwall offers a chance for young people to believe in themselves again.
    Alongside our apprenticeship programme we hope to engage more local people with food related skills that widens participation through development activities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We train 16-24 yr olds, not in education, employment or training, to become the chefs of the future.


    » We recruit the most challenging youngsters in Cornwall; many come from broken homes have drug or alcohol problems or have been in trouble with the law
    » Initially we train an intake of 30 at Cornwall College who deliver the first 4 mths of VRQ training after which around 20 apprentices join our kitchen
    » After college the apprentices spend twelve months in the Fifteen Cornwall kitchen learning alongside 20 professional chefs graduating with an NVQ 2.
    » Our welfare team provide help such as housing & benefits advice, transportation, childcare, debt advice, anger management, drug & alcohol counselling

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by placing 80% of the apprentices who start the programme in full-time sustainable jobs within hospitality.

  • Impact


    Fifteen Cornwall makes long term changes to the lives of the apprentices and their families. A recent SROI report identified that for every £1 spent there is a £9.50 social return on investment. The majority of the benefit comes from getting young people into work but other key outcomes include:
    Improved social and financial skills
    Reduced risk of homelessness and offending
    Reduced intergenerational poverty and improved social mobility
    Improved diet and long-term health


    The Cornwall Foundation of Promise wholly owns Fifteen Cornwall Ltd and the project is a true social enterprise. It has been funded by a mixture of trading profits, public finance & other fundraising activities. Our training programme, given its deep care, costs around £500K a year to run. Our restaurant is extremely successful but can only provide about half of the funding required. We have to maintain and actively seek other sources of funding to bridge this gap year on year.


    We engage with donors regularly so that they feel part of our project: monthly e-newsletters, quarterly ‘Gazzetta’ magazines and invitations to events in the restaurant such as fundraisers and open days.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £533,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £302,000 Payroll costs Inc.support staff, training staff and apprenticeship wages
      £96,000 Travel We transport our apprentices from all over Cornwall to the restaurant daily
      £49,000 Work experience Work placements and training visits to suppliers
      £29,000 Apprentice welfare Uniforms, equipment and external welfare support
      £27,000 Recruitment This robust recruitment process includes taking 60 candidates on a 2 day selection process
      £30,000 Administration Professional fees, marketing and office administration
  • Background


    Cornwall is the perfect location for this project. It has a wealth of high class restaurants, encouraging a lot of visitors into the county, looking for top end dining experiences. This helps drive the trade in Fifteen Cornwall. But Cornwall is also one of the poorest areas of Europe, youth unemployment is well above the national average, and year round jobs are hard to come by.


    Alongside changing the lives of our apprentices, we employ 70 permanent members of staff and spend c£1m per annum with local suppliers. A recent survey carried out by a local paper suggested Fifteen Cornwall brings £10m annually into the Cornish economy.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We were set up in May 2006 so now have 6 years experience in training apprentices. Fifteen Cornwall the restaurant is owned by the charity The Cornwall Foundation of Promise and runs as a commercial venture - turning over £3 million a year - whilst giving on the job training to up to 30 NEET apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds - 112 have so far gone through the scheme, 17 are in the kitchen right now.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Karl Jones - Training & Development Chef

    Karl designs and runs the training programme for the apprentices.

    Andy Appleton - Head Chef

    Andy has been a big part of the Fifteen family for many years; originally working at Fifteen London, moving to Cornwall in 2007.

    Matt Thomas - Welfare & Support Manager

    Matt provides one to one assessment and welfare programmes for the apprentices.

    Matthew Thomson

    Matthew is our CEO, bringing a wealth of experience,knowledge and passion to the Cornwall Foundation of Promise and Fifteen Cornwall.