Living a lifestyle like Gordon Ramsey or perhaps Jamie Oliver is the ambition of most of the young students in catering college, but the sad reality is that Gordon and Jamie are as elite as the Premiership footballers’ others seek to aspire to. It is always good to want to be the best but just look at what these two amazing chefs had to do to get to where they are today – thousands of hours grafting in busy kitchens across the world, slowly honing their skills, putting their careers before everything else, then putting their hard-earned money into business schemes that are as fickle as the weather.
For others, there is a desire to put something more meaningful back into their local communities and achieve a much better work life balance. There is a meaningful career waiting for anyone in public sector catering and there are few more rewarding sectors than working in a catering department in your local hospital.
For a caterer, it has much to offer:
Brian Robb, our National Chairman first started out in the NHS in 1981, after seven years’ working in the private food sector. He was a junior sous chef before moving into his role at the Eastern General Hospital, Leith, Scotland where he grasped every opportunity that came his way; by 1992, Brian had become a kitchen manager at a hospital within NHS Lothian.
“When I started in the NHS, there wasn’t really a clear career pathway for facilities staff, certainly not into management,” Brian says. “But as I progressed up the ladder, I was able to get a bird’s eye view of how our estates and facilities staff are faring. For the last 20 years I’ve worked as a Facilities Manager which started as Site based and progressed further to area wide, incorporating Not only Catering, but Logistics, Domestics, Clinical Waste to name but a few responsibilities.”
Brian is now semi-retired and has been with the NHS for over 40 years. He is happy to have stayed for such a long time, and still feels that he has much to offer before he retires fully.
“The NHS has so many benefits that go beyond money. The NHS is a family - that’s what I want everyone to feel. When you’re providing a service that matters and helping people get well, whether that’s by feeding them, by making sure their environment is clean, or making sure that their visitors can come and go as appropriate – everything else pales in comparison.”
Hit the links on this page to be taken to job websites for the four nations. You will not regret it.