To mark National Apprenticeship Week (1-5 February), the head baker at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant in London has teamed up with the Real Bread Campaign to highlight the importance of bakery apprenticeships.

Fifteen offers young people, who are in need of a helping hand, a chance to transform their lives and realise their own potential through the experience of learning to work in the restaurant business.

As part of a 12-month chef apprenticeship scheme run by Fifteen, each apprentice learns basic breadmaking with the NVQ 2 qualifications they take at Lewisham College. The apprentices also have the chance to spend three weeks with Rankin to build on their experience and knowledge, with the next group of apprentices due to start on 8 February.

Fifteen’s Kenny Rankin said: “There’s so much you can do with the apprentices. You can teach them the basics but there’s also the Swiss and French style bakery that’s invaluable learning. Baking is such a dying art and is one of the oldest and most important skills we can teach the apprentices.”

The bakery produces traditional Italian-style breads, such as ciabatta and focaccia as well as more unusual breads such as Zopf - a Swiss-style knotted bread. It also hopes to diversify the varieties in the future, as well as broadening its training.

Rankin will share his knowledge of artisan bakery with Real Bread Campaign’s project officer, Chris Young. He will learn about the art of baking bread using the same techniques and developing the same skills as Fifteen’s trainees.

To find out more about Fifteen, visit