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Aspiring chef Josh has all the right ingredients

Aspiring chef

Joshua Richings has a dream of becoming a chef and he is well on his way to making that dream a reality.

The 20-year-old has a paid part-time job in the kitchen of Chargrove Lawn Care Home and is awaiting confirmation of a part-time paid post at Cheltenham Chase Hotel too.

He admits that before his one-year Skills for Work programme at National Star he was not very confident.

‘When I started in the kitchens at StarBistro at Royal Crescent I didn’t say much to the staff. Now I’ve come out of my shyness and I am much more confident working with others,’ he said.

He’s become so confident that he cooked in front of audiences at the Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival.

His inspiration in the kitchen is Jamie Oliver. Staff at StarBistro at Royal Crescent will tell you that Joshua’s baking – especially his lemon drizzle cake – is in a class of its own.

Joshua says having the support of a work mentor has made a huge difference to his success in getting work.

Mike my Job Mentor has helped me find the best place where I’d like to work and helped me with my confidence. Now I am ready to do more on my own.’

Joshua said getting his first pay cheque was a special moment.

‘It meant that I have a real job in the catering industry. I’m saving some of my money but I am also helping the family with shopping bills,’ says Joshua.

He lives with his family in Cheltenham but would like to eventually move out and be independent.

While he enjoys cooking at home, Joshua admits it is still his mother’s domain. ‘I’m usually the commis chef,’ he says with a smile.

Find out more

For more information about our Skills for Work programme please click here or contact our Admissions team on 01242 534928 / 01242 527631 or

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