Gamba and The Princes Trust

Gamba The Herald

Award-winning seafood chef Derek Marshall is trying to get Glasgow Cooking by urging restaurants across the city to join him in support of The Prince’sTrust, cooking employability initiative – ‘Get into Cooking’.

The leading youth charity, which helps young people into education, jobs and business will this year celebrate the tenth anniversary of its Get into Cooking programme with Derek Marshall championing the initiative.

The vocational training course, which in Glasgow is run in partnership with City of Glasgow College and The Princes Trust, offers unemployed young people the chance to learn new skills and build their experience in the kitchen. It aims to give young people the opportunity to gain experience of working in a busy kitchen environment, provide training and certification in REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene and help them pursue a career into the food and drink industry.

Now in its tenth year the successful programme has helped over 400 young people receive vocational qualifications, skills and experience and Derek is encouraging other businesses to back the programme and offer placements at their establishments. Derek who unearthed the potential of a young chef last year through the programme is calling on others in the city’s thriving cooking and hospitality industry to get involved with the programme.

Speaking about the initiative Derek Marshall, chef patron of Gamba said:

“I found out about the course after receiving a call from Laura O’Malley, Outcomes Executive at The Prince’s Trust when she was looking for placements for young people who were taking part in the course.  I accepted straight away, as I’m passionate about bridging the gap in skills levels for young chefs coming through the ranks. I think that as restaurant owners we should be helping to offer up these learning opportunities for the next generation and I’m now urging other restaurateurs in Glasgow to back the Get into Cooking programme and get Glasgow cooking.”

After a trial shift, Derek saw the potential in Noreen who was quick to learn and adapt to the kitchen environment, and offered her a position in his kitchen.

Derek Marshall continues: 

“Noreen is a complete joy to have in my kitchen. She understands the need for structure and has a strong point for desserts, intricately following exact recipes to create some beautiful dishes. The course has really helped her understand food and environmental hygiene, which is integral to working in any kitchen and the hands-on experience the course offered her gave her the opportunity to build practical skills in a real kitchen.

“2015 is the Year of Scotland’s Food and Drink and I’m personally looking forward to welcoming the next young chefs, giving them a taste of a professional kitchen environment, and hopefully inspiring them to progress their hospitality career.”

Allan Watt, Director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland commented: “ThePrince's Trust is delighted to help young people ‘Get into cooking’ with a fantastic package of training and experience. Thanks to our work with City of Glasgow College and the support of businesses like Gamba, we have been able to give even more young people the chance to reach their full potential.

“Our ‘Get into’ programme brings together employers and The Prince's Trust to offer courses in everything from retail to hospitality, security to health care.   We would love to hear from any young person who wants to find out what opportunities we can offer to help them to get a job, an education or start their own business.”

Willie McCurrach the Curriculum Head for Food at City of Glasgow College said:

“The course has the right balance of job search and practical skills to enable a young person to gain employment in our industry on completion. A positive strength of the programme is the tailored work placement which is an integral part of the programme to give the young person a taste of the working life.”

The next Get into Cooking course begins on April 13 with further courses running throughout the year. The course is open to 16-25 yr-olds and includes 4 week of hands-on training at City of Glasgow College. During this time young people develop their skills in a wide range of cooking techniques and gain qualifications in food hygiene and health and safety. If you’re a business and think you could offer a work experience opportunity please contact Laura O’Malley on 0141 243 5376 or email If you or someone you know is aged 16-25, not in a job or education, and would like to take part in Get into Cooking or, one of The Prince’s Trust’s other free ‘Get into’ training courses call 0141 204 4409.