Catering | NCFE | NCFE

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Catering is a brilliant choice of career pathway, offering exciting opportunities for learners to master skills in areas such as food and cookery, hospitality and food production. It’s a good time to enter this field, which is filled with employment opportunities as the economy recovers.

Sector insights

Hospitality vacancies are currently at an all-time high, with the sector facing a shortage of around 200,000 workers in the UK. Chefs, front-of-house staff, and general manager positions are all in high demand. A third of employees currently working in the food and drink sector are also predicted to retire by 2024. In addition to this, over 3.2 million people were employed in the sector prior to Covid-19 - but after being badly hit by the pandemic, a skills gap is now growing within the sector.

This gap is now ready to be filled by learners who are inspired to achieve their goals in the catering and hospitality industry. Our qualifications at NCFE are the perfect route into a career in the sector.

With endorsements and collaborations from experts and key stakeholders in the catering industry, our courses provide learners with the skills and knowledge they require to succeed in a career in food. For example, our Food and Cookery qualifications allow learners to experience using different cooking techniques and methods, equipping them with the understanding to use these skills within further education or apprenticeship settings.

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Qualification spotlight

We offer an exciting range of qualifications to help prepare learners with the skills, knowledge and understanding to enter a career in catering. Some of our most popular qualifications include:

Setting the standard

We work collaboratively with a host of industry experts to create qualifications developed by the sector, for the sector. Some of our high-profile endorsements and collaborations in the catering world include:


                NIC Services logo        Baxter storey logo        LEYF Nurseries logo

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Plan your curriculum

View our progression route map to see how our range of catering qualifications connect to support your curriculum planning and learner progression.

Case study: Food and Cookery qualification supports learner to gain apprenticeship at luxury hotel

After completing a technical qualification in food and cookery, Luke Bennett – a learner at Newall Green High School – secured an apprenticeship at the luxury Midland Hotel in Manchester.

NCFE’s Level 2 V Cert qualification supported Luke in gaining knowledge in food hygiene, preparation, diet and the food industry, as well as providing him with experience of using different cooking skills and methods. He has now started his Sous Chef apprenticeship training.

Luke commented: “I’ve been able to learn so many new skills and gained a thorough understanding of all the areas of cooking to take me to the next level.”

Sarah Healey, Curriculum Leader at Newall Green High School, said: “Luke is an extremely hardworking student who has stepped up to the challenge of the trials at the Midland Hotel and we are so proud of him for reaching his goal and securing an apprenticeship."

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Learners and staff at Newall Green High School have thoroughly enjoyed this NCFE qualification and its flexibility.

Sarah Healey, Curriculum Leader at Newall Green High School