Catering: adaptability, the key word for apprentices

Young people on short-time work, application restaurants closed: the training of apprentices is continuing in a context of a health crisis which is forcing students and teachers to adapt on a daily basis.

They are used to being active in the kitchen or serving in restaurants. But with the health crisis, the apprenticeship of young apprentices in the hotel and restaurant sectors has been seriously disrupted. Like professionals in the sector, they had no other choice but to adapt to learn differently.


At the MFR Le Fontanil, in Saint-Alban-Leysse, the students are not all at the same pace: where young people in the food sector (bakery, butcher and pastry) see their activity sharply increase, those of the trades in the hotel and catering industry are largely on short-time work (180 out of the 500 young people in Fontanil). “Almost all of the young people have decided to take face-to-face lessons to maintain a social bond. We therefore continue the course of our training in a classic way, so as not to question obtaining the exam. Things are more complicated for the acquisition of professional competence: the weeks off do not allow them to learn the gesture and the technique. We therefore worked with employers to be able to extend the training by one year ”,explains Nicolas Jacob, director of Fontanil. At the hotel school in Challes-les-Eaux, young people in pastry-making CAPs also continue their activity, while those in vocational baccalaureate and pro-service baccalaureate adapt (200 students enrolled in these two professional baccalaureate). If they were able to maintain their first training period in a professional environment in September and validate skills, the second period provided for was canceled. “  In March, our terminals, which will arrive on the job market, went to the agri-food sector: to wine merchants or to cheese dairies for those in the service; at caterers or in restaurants offering click & collect for cooks, explains Chantal Piaget, principal.Usually, our students go elsewhere in France; there, they are on the sector. Despite what they experience, companies, anxious to train young people, have played the game. It makes them evolve, get out of their comfort zone, while requiring permanent adaptation! “.


Closed to customers, the application restaurants of Fontanil and the hotel school operate thanks to students, who take the place of customers while respecting barrier gestures, to allow apprentices to put themselves in a situation and acquire professional skills, ” even if nothing replaces the practice in situ ” . At the Challes hotel school, the staff of the establishment are also playing the game! In the current context, the Fontanil takes part in solidarity actions, as recently with the association of restaurant owners of Chambéry, for a day of solidarity with the students, “which allowed a great synergy with the restaurateurs” , rejoices Nicolas Jacob.

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