Opportunities across UK

Level 2 Apprenticeship in Production - Chef

Start Date: Oct 1, 2021

Closing Date: Oct 1, 2021

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An RAF Chef is the Force Sustainer who plans, prepares, and delivers culinary excellence in our production kitchens and in the field.




  • Working as part of a team in time-bound and often challenging kitchen environments.
  • You will develop outstanding culinary skills in all disciplines of food production.
  • You will be in demand all over the world.


The RAF Chef training program will provide you with the required organisational, time management, communication, and number skills you require to stay calm under pressure. You can be employed in various environments; In Military Messes where you will work with the industrial partner to prepare hotel standard fare and provide gastronomy dining experiences for Military personnel, In a Field kitchen providing catering support for Exercises and Operations worldwide or in an InFlight Catering production kitchen producing meals for fast jet pilots, helicopter crews and large aircraft crew and passengers traveling to all corners of the globe. With experience, you could volunteer to work in our VIP Team and cook for high-ranking Officers, Government Ministers and even members of the Royal Family. If selected, you could compete in culinary competitions and eventually gain an invitation to represent the Royal Air Force on the Combined Services Culinary Arts Team who competes internationally against the best industry Chefs in the world. Your day-to-day tasks will vary dependent on your role, but they will include; working with the strategies of our Industrial Partners to prepare attractive menus that meet set standards, following specifications to maintain quality and control, adhering to hygiene, health and safety regulations whilst instilling a knowledge of allergens, nutrition and diets so you can cater to the diverse Royal Air Force family.


Qualified Chefs and Catering skills are sought after by civilian organisations. Therefore, on leaving the RAF you are extremely employable and well placed to find a new job such as:

  • Head Chef
  • Baker
  • Butcher
  • Catering Manager
  • Consumer Scientist
  • Food Factory Manager
  • Food Manufacturing Inspector
  • Food Scientist
  • Publican
  • Hotel Manager



Your career will start with a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.


If you are joining with little or no catering experience, you will need to complete specialist training at the Food Services Training Wing at Worthy Down. This 14-week course will train you to maintain excellent standards of personal, food and kitchen hygiene whilst using specialist kitchen equipment to produce a variety of dishes. You will also undertake a 10-day Introduction to Deployed Operations with No 3 Mobile Catering Squadron (3 MCS) where you will be trained to set up field kitchens under tentage, this skill will enable you to provide catering support to deployed operations worldwide as well as supporting exercises both based in the UK and abroad.


If you have the relevant qualifications and experience in professional cookery you will be offered the opportunity to undertake a diagnostic test at Food Services Training Wing at Worthy Down prior attestation. Applicants are required to achieve a minimum 80% pass in both the Theory and Practical elements to ensure eligibility for accelerated promotion thereafter. Successful applicants (after completion of BRTC) will automatically progress to the last 4 weeks of the chef course where they will complete familiarisation training and the 10-day introduction to Deployed Operations with 3 MCS.


All Chef entrants are offered the opportunity to enroll on to the Production Chef Intermediate Apprenticeship. The Apprenticeship is completed during your first tour of duty following an Independent End Point Assessment The Chef training programme includes the following elements: • Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering • Level 2 Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace • Level 2 Award in Nutrition


As your career progresses, we will continue to train you to the highest standard and equip you with the skills you require to take on new responsibilities. This means that there are opportunities for management, leadership, health and safety training, and other associated qualifications. These include –

  • Catering Advanced Skills Course
  • Catering Supervisors/Managers Course
  • Advanced Deployed Skills (ADS) Course
  • Food Safety and Nutrition Courses up to Level 4


For your first tour, you will be working in either an Officers’, Sergeants’ or Junior Ranks’ Mess where you will produce a wide range of high quality food. You will consolidate your training and gain valuable experience that will prepare you for your first operational tour of duty, either supporting 3 MCS in the field or on a deployed Airfield anywhere in the world. The consolidation period includes your Trade Ability Tests (TATs), successful completion of TATs demonstrates that an individual has achieved an initial level of competence. These are a pre-requisite for promotion to the rank of SAC. A first tour is always demanding but also highly rewarding, you will be given the time to develop your skills and become an effective member of the team.


Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection. We want you to grow and experience all the opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities that being an RAF Chef has to offer, but it will be up to you to manage your career and tell us when you are ready for a new challenge. You can expect to remain in your first post for 2-3 years and following tours will be 3 – 5 years. SACs can be employed on Catering Retail and Leisure Units, 3 Mobile Catering Squadron and on VIP duties. On promotion to Corporal, you can add Instructional duties and embedded Chef on RAF Regiment Sqns to possible employment areas.


A Modern Force: The RAF recognises the value of a person’s ability no matter their ethnicity, social background, religion or belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status/civil partnership.

Age: Unqualified: 16–47 Must attest before 48th birthday. (If you are under 18 years of age, you will need consent from a parent or guardian before you apply however you may commence your application from 15 years and 9 months). Qualified: 19-47 (Must attest before 48th birthday)

Qualifications: Qualified Chef: At least 12 months of suitable experience working as a chef/cook in a hotel, restaurant, hospital or industrial canteen, or other catering establishments (not fast food). You will also need one of the following: • NVQ Level 2 or 3 in Food Preparation and Cooking. • Apprenticeship in Commis Chef or Production Chef Standards. • Any other appropriate recognised civilian qualification. Unqualified Chef: No formal qualifications are required.

Selection: You will be assessed on physical fitness and medical eligibility. Additionally, you will also be required to complete the Airmen’s Selection Test at your local AFCO to a standard appropriate to your choice of trade.

Residency: Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application but candidates with a minimum of 3 years will be considered.

Nationality: You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth. Employment restrictions may be imposed within the Logistics Branch and Trades in relation to the rapid and effective deployability of RAF personnel to countries that apply travel restrictions to non-UK personnel. Non-British personnel applying for these fields of employment are required to certify that they have been advised of the nationality imposed employment limitations and the consequences of not naturalizing as a British citizen.

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more opportunities like this one!