Become a trainee at Refugee Cafe

Training programme (1)

We are looking for a team of 6 local people from the refugee and migrant community to take part in our pilot hospitality and employability training program!

The aim of this program will be to equip refugees with the skills and knowledge required to work in the UK hospitality and culinary industry.

This course is for anyone with refugee or migrant status and a background in food and hospitality, living in the Lewisham area, and interested in working in the culinary industry.

This is an 8-week basic training course. As a trainee, you will join a friendly team to gain:

  • Foundational knowledge of the UK food industry
  • UK work experience
  • Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene qualification
  • Professional reference
  • English speaking practice

You will also receive 1:1 help to work towards your long-term employment goals including signposting to extra training, advice looking for jobs with a local employer and well being support.

What do we expect of you?

We expect you to attend all training, practical placements and scheduled meetings with the training coordinator. Tasks may be assigned for completion at home, and we ask that you complete these tasks in a timely manner in order to fully engage with the course. If you cannot attend a session, we ask that you let the training coordinator know as soon as possible in advance. A minimum of 80% attendance is required to pass the course.

What will a normal week look like?
Total training hours will be between 6 and 9 hours per week, spread over 3 shifts. These will be: two mornings per week from 9.30 to 12.30, most likely on a Monday and Tuesday, a placement session once per fortnight, and a one to one session with the Training Coordinator once every four weeks. All shifts will be in the day-time. Some week-end participation may be required. Exact times and dates are to be confirmed.

These hours will include practical training at market stalls, in the Refugee Cafe kitchen, or other catering establishments,  where you will assist with food preparation, serving customers, and bookkeeping, among other tasks. Each trainee will also have two career sessions with the Training Coordinator to set and track personal development goals.

There will also be an opportunity to get involved in  events, monthly community dinners, and private catering, depending on demand.

What happens when you finish the programme?
After you finish the programme and have gained your Level 2 Food Health and Safety certificate, we will refer you to dedicated support to find a job with a local employee. However, we have lots of opportunities for you to stay involved with Refugee Cafe.


Who is this training programme for?
If you answer YES to all of the following questions, we would love to hear from you!

  • A refugee or vulnerable migrant?
  • Living in Lewisham, Greenwich, Bromley or Southwark?
  • Over 18 years old?
  • Level 1 English certified, or on an ESOL programme? (please note, your English may be assessed to determine whether you have the right language level to access this training program).
  • Have basic computer knowledge (know how to use a laptop and phone)?
  • A person who has a passion for cooking, an interest in working in the hospitality or food sector or an interest in starting your own food business?
  • Seeking mainstream employment or interested in starting your own business?
  • Interested in making friends in your local community and improving your English?
  • Happy to work with a team of people, with no bad feeling towards their religion, race, sexuality or gender*?

* If you would feel more comfortable in a men only or women only team please do let us know at the interview and we will do our best to accommodate this.

How to apply

To apply to join the training programme please complete the form below. You can also download a copy to fill our on your computer or by hand. If you have any questions please get in touch with the Training Manager, Rose: rose@refugeecafe.org.uk or on WhatsApp 07306413599.