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White Rabbit Projects launches online academy with Leiths to tackle job crisis

Following a turbulent year in the hospitality industry, which has seen many workers pushed into new professions, hospitality development platform, White Rabbit Projects is launching The White Rabbit Academy, delivered in tandem with Leiths School of Food and Wine's online professional learning, to get new talent in the kitchen.

Earlier this year, Leiths launched a £750k grant scheme to offer places on their online professional courses to assist the hospitality crisis, the White Rabbit Projects have launched the White Rabbit Academy, which will bring the Leiths Hospitality Grants into the heart of their own kitchens.

Budding chefs will train alongside their skilled kitchen brigade at one of four hotel properties around the UK, alongside a fully funded place on Leiths 24-week Chef’s Skill Course.

Kicking off the internal training on Monday 8 November, eight successful applicants will learn invaluable on-the-job skills with their Leiths training and mentorship. WRP will take care of all essential items including ingredients, equipment, and kitchen space, with a senior member of their kitchen brigade taking on a the 7-month mentor role.

Following graduation, one of the newly qualified chefs will be offered a fully funded two weeks stagier at a WRP partner restaurant of their choosing, which include the likes of Kricket, Lina Stores, Garden House, the Alice, ’18’,the Lawn and Island Poke. All graduates will have the opportunity to be hired as Chef de Parties and join the WRP family of restaurants.

Set up in 2016 by former Soho House Group Commercial Director, Chris Miller, White Rabbit Projects support partners in creating bespoke, best in class hospitality experiences.

First created with the goal to support early-stage chefs and restaurants to launch and grow their businesses, WRP strives to bring the industry back to its former glory by reinspiring chefs and showcasing the credibility and pride that comes from working in a professional kitchen. Their current portfolio comprises 34 sites.

Miller said, “The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit throughout Covid-19, and unfortunately as a combined result with Brexit, despite lockdown lifting and restaurants returning to ‘normal’ the industry has continued to experience a nationwide staff shortage.

'It is the responsibility of restaurant owners to remind chefs of the excitement and passion that comes with working in a professional kitchen and add value to their careers with additional training.

'We’re delighted to work with the powerhouse that is Leiths to provide best in class training and the opportunity for budding chefs to join our family of restaurants.”

Camilla Schneideman, Managing Director of Leiths, commented, “As a cookery school at the heart of the sector, we canvassed the opinions of chefs and restaurant groups to establish how we could best serve the industry we take great pride in training people for at this time of staffing crisis.

'The one tool that we have in our armoury which can reach a large number of people is the range of Leiths online professional courses. The courses can be taken anywhere as long as you have kitchen space and a smartphone, and can fit around shifts.

'We’re hugely excited to be supporting White Rabbit Projects in their inspiring iteration of the training alongside their teams.”