Frying high with apprentice Hollie Hutton

A case study highlighting how enthusiastic apprentice Hollie Hutton is thriving at an award-winning fish and chip shop in Bradford

Despite being served in the UK for over 160 years, it’s not easy to create the perfect fish and chips. Training, knowledge and experience all feed into crafting a tasty plate of the iconic British dish.

One person honing their fish frying abilities is Hollie Hutton. Located in Idle, Bradford in West Yorkshire, you’ll find Hollie working as part of a team at the award-winning fish and chip shop, Towngate Fisheries.

Four years ago, Hollie started a part time job at Towngate Fisheries aged 16, while studying A-levels at school. In the summer of 2020, Hollie was due to take her A-level exams but the Covid pandemic unfortunately had other plans. Hollie couldn’t complete her exams and was awarded grades by teacher assessment. At this point, Hollie decided not to go to university and kept working at the fish and chip shop.

Mark Drummond, the owner of Towngate Fisheries, saw her potential, so encouraged Hollie to take the next step in her career and pointed her towards the opportunities available with a Level 3 apprenticeship. Hollie felt that the apprenticeship, combined with the support of the chip shop, would help her to understand her new job role as a fish frier. It would also be a positive step towards a long-term future of a career in hospitality.

“Having an apprentice working in the business has helped develop staff training systems. We hope that Hollie will continue to work at Towngate Fisheries after completing her apprenticeship. It gives us something to promote on our social media and helps show we are a professional business with high standards.” Mark Drummond, Owner of Towngate Fisheries

Initially due to Covid-19, the Level 3 Senior Production Chef apprenticeship was delivered remotely with regular sessions via zoom. However, thanks to the easing of restrictions in 2022, Hollie has been able to showcase her skills in person to her tutor, as well as learn valuable techniques, for example how to fillet whole fish, something she wouldn’t have encountered without the help of her apprenticeship.

Hollie feels positive about the experience, with the apprenticeship also allowing her to:

• Being more mature and confident in her job role; • Develop her ability to be a team leader and to train others in their role; • Learn new skills and knowledge relevant to her job; • Discover aspects of other hospitality industries.

“From the age of 16 I have been working my way up within the shop, going from the role of counter staff to now preparing food, frying independently and being the leader on many shifts. My goals for the future include gaining more experience in the fish and chip industry and hopefully one day owning a shop of my own. With great mentors like Mark and Joanne (manager at Towngate Fisheries), I believe this is more than achievable in the future.” Hollie Hutton, Apprentice Fish Frier

For further information and advice on fish frying apprenticeships, please email the Seafish Onshore Training team, email onshore@seafish.co.uk.


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