By Claire West

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has visited Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow to meet young people who have been given an opportunity to start their careers in one of the country’s top restaurants.

Apprentices and staff at Rick Stein and Jill Stein’s businesses welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister to showcase their commitment to getting young people working and developing their careers. The Seafood Restaurant supports the Deputy Prime Minister’s £1 billion Youth Contract initiative to get all young people earning or learning and offers a number of training initiatives for all its employees.

The Deputy Prime Minister was given a tour of the new development kitchen, where aspiring chefs are trained and met apprentices on the Professional Cookery Apprenticeship scheme. Their cookery skills were demonstrated during a tasting session with the Deputy Prime Minister.

Rick Stein discussed the business’s support for youth employment with the Deputy Prime Minister. The company has signed up to the Youth Contract as a whole, and is set to use the wage incentive part of the Government’s policy to take on inexperienced unemployed young people, and is encouraging other companies to do the same.

Rick Stein commented “I hate to see so many young people unemployed. We welcome the Youth Contract and I hope many other businesses will sign up to help young people get jobs and training. It’s enormously important for all of us.”

Nick Clegg said “It’s truly inspiring to have met these young people and witness the incredible skills they have learned. I clearly have a long way to go to match their culinary abilities. The Seafood Restaurant is taking on local young people to give them training and lasting careers— and that’s what the Youth Contract is all about.

I hope other restaurateurs in Cornwall and across the country come forward to offer young people similar opportunities. Through the Youth Contract, employers can get financial support through our wage incentive scheme which would cover a young person’s National Insurance contributions for a year.”

Apprentice Charlotte Drew added “Even though I was very nervous, it was great to meet the Deputy Prime Minister and show him all the new cookery skills I have learnt as an Apprentice. This job is a fantastic opportunity for me and I have some many exciting career opportunities ahead of me now”.