Chloe Lancaster and Fu Jian Ting were named as joint winners of the Purple Umbrella Award at a high-profile ceremony held at the iconic Savoy Hotel in London last Friday evening. Apprentices Lancaster and Ting were presented with the major titles, alongside Harry Murray MBE, Chairman, Lucknam Park, who received a special award for his own contribution to the development of apprentices in the industry.
They were joined by nine other winners from across the UK’s hospitality sector. The event, held by Umbrella Training, recognises top hospitality apprentices across the UK and is judged by a panel of respected individuals from the sector.
The awards are presented to talented chefs, team members, supervisors and managers for their commitment to lifelong learning and their achievements over the past 12–18 months.
Lancaster, who works as a commis chef apprentice at The New Forest Hotels was commended for her commitment to both her own and the personal development of others, her leadership skills and for achieving a distinction grade.
Ting, a commis chef apprentice from The Pig Hotel was named as the winner for his dedication to learning as well as his exceptional cooking ability. Ting has achieved distinction grade and demonstrated his commitment to the continuous development of his culinary skills.
Umbrella Training currently has more than 400 apprentices across levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 on hospitality and management apprenticeship programmes.
From the apprentices who have historically completed their programmes, 70% have moved into aspirational positions or have been promoted in the last six months.
It comes as hospitality as a sector reported a record 15,000 new apprenticeship starts, up 15% year on year and bucking the national trend.
Winners were presented their awards by Dave Berry from Absolute Radio, Holly Langan (last year’s winner) and Adele Oxberry, founder and managing director of Umbrella Training.
Oxberry said: “Apprenticeship schemes provide people with meaningful opportunities to develop the skills and experience needed for a fulfilling and exciting career in hospitality. That’s why the incredible level of talent on display among this year’s Purple Umbrella Awards finalists and winners was so exciting and inspiring. We are immensely proud of everyone.”
Lancaster said: “I feel ecstatic, I really wasn’t expecting that. It means a lot to me and I’m very grateful to everybody who has supported me to date. It has been fantastic and really made a difference to my learning.”
Ting added: “I’m excited and still shaking to be honest. I didn’t expect to win this. It has been brilliant and is another step to help me progress in my career.”
The full list of winners:
- Best Chef Apprentice level 2 – Thomas Marriage, Le Manoir
- Best Chef Apprentice level 3 – Benjamin Garnett-Sinclair, CH&Co
- Best Hospitality Team Member Apprentice – Alice Hockley, The Pig, Home Grown Hotels
- Best Hospitality Supervisor Apprentice – Aimee Reddick, AB Hotels
- Best Hospitality Manager Apprentice – Gabor Nagyvaradi, RAF Club
- Best Departmental and Operations Manager Apprentice – Selven Armoogum, Firmdale Hotels
- Best Learning & Development Apprentice – Katrina Brandt, Park Plaza Hotels Europe
- Best Apprentice (a non-Umbrella learner) – Charlotte Clarke, Kew Green Hotels
- Best Alumni Apprentice – Monika Soti, Rosewood Hotel
- Special award – Harry Murray, Lucknam Park
- Purple Umbrella Award – Fu Jian Ting (The Pig)
- Purple Umbrella Award – Chloe Lancaster (New Forest Hotels)
H&C News would like to congratulate all the winners, as well as all the nominees and everyone who was part of making the occasion so special. We would also like to give special congratulations to Harry Murray MBE for his contribution to date to our great industry, as well as being a champion of apprentices. We would also like to recognise Umbrella Training’s contribution to hospitality and catering apprenticeships. Well done ALL!