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MP Visits Award-Winning Derby College Apprentice at Work

South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler has visited a Derby College apprentice at work.

Derby, United Kingdom, February 15, 2012 --( South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler learnt first-hand about what it is like for young apprentices at work and College when she visited trainee chef Robert Taylor at the Melbourne restaurant where he works.

Mrs Wheeler talked to Robert (18) and his mum Heidi Taylor who part-owns Harpurs restaurant in Derby Road, Melbourne, and then sampled some of his cooking. The visit was organised at the end of National Apprenticeship Week – celebrating the success of young people and their employers under the scheme.

It was the second time in a week that Robert went under the spotlight having just won Derby College’s annual apprenticeship cook off at The Roundhouse when ten apprentices from local restaurants spent two hours creating a two-course menu which was then judged by top chefs from city and county restaurants.

Robert said: "I was still buzzing from winning the competition and then it was great to have the chance to cook for Mrs Wheeler and talk to her about my apprenticeship.

"It's the best of both worlds for me – being able to learn the classics from the chefs at Derby College on my day off as well as working in the kitchen at Harpurs and gaining practical experience.

"My hero is Sat Bains who was also a student at Derby College and I really hope to emulate his creativity and innovation some day in a Michelin star restaurant."

Harpurs owner Heidi Taylor, who started her own catering career in the Houses of Parliament more than 20 years ago, said: "It was great for us to be able to talk to Mrs Wheeler about the benefits to our own business of having an apprentice and the support that Derby College gives us.

"It was also really interesting to reminisce about my days working in the House of Commons dining room and then the House of Lords kitchen all those years ago and find out from Mrs Wheeler whether things have changed over the years."

Mrs Wheeler concluded: "National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of young people and to highlight the positive contribution that they are making to businesses.

"Robert has done extremely well to win a competition so early in his apprenticeship and the food he served to us today was absolutely delicious.

"The fact that apprentices such as Robert are also able to attend College on day release to really hone their skills is particularly positive.

"For young people in South Derbyshire, Derby College at The Roundhouse is particularly accessible with the train links to villages such as Willington bringing training and further education within easy reach."

For more information about apprenticeships through Derby College, Tel: 0800 028 0289 or visit


Media enquiries:
Sarah Jenkin-Jones, PR Officer, Derby College, Tel: 07951 945 665;
Contact Information
Derby College
Sarah Jenkin-Jones
01332 387426

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