To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Encore Care Homes teamed up with HIT Training to host an event for local catering apprentices working in the health and social care sector.

Held at Great Oaks in Bournemouth, which is managed by Encore, five apprentices (two in front-of-house and three in the kitchen) had the opportunity to showcase their culinary skills by preparing a diverse menu for all guests to enjoy. The five course taster menu demonstrated how the apprentices can work together to produce appetising dishes that meet specific dietary needs such as dysphagia.

Sam Davey, an assistant chef at Great Oaks, was one of the apprentices who took part in the demonstration and prepared dishes which included maple syrup glazed cauliflower steak and a pan-fried fillet of cod.

All of the apprentices who participated in the event are working towards their Level 2 Commis Chef Apprenticeship and their Level 2 Award in Professional Cookery in Health and Social Care. The course is specifically designed to enable students to develop their awareness of diet and appetite issues, as well as the importance of nutrition and hydration in a health and social care setting.

Alison Salmon, sector manager of HIT Training for Dorset, said: “It is wonderful to see so many apprentices taking part in National Apprenticeship Week’s activities and celebrating the hugely positive impact that apprenticeships have on individuals themselves, the business that they learn and work with, and the wider economy.”

Luke Wiltshire, learning manager at Encore, added: “At Encore we are proud of the strong, diverse teams which we have in each of our homes. Apprenticeships ensure we future-proof our workforce by allowing them to bring a whole new range of skills and experience to the role.

“We believe it is vital that we continue to invest in apprenticeships and this event demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our staff and their skills development.”

Great Oaks is the latest addition of an established family of care homes managed by Encore Care Homes, with two other care homes in Dorset and Hampshire. The 80-bed care home is fitted with state-of-the-art facilities, designed to enable staff to provide the highest standard of 24 hour, personalised care and ensure residents are comfortable and happy in their surroundings. Please visit for more information or call 01202 087444.