Catering Courses

The Big Fig is more than just a catering company, we are a social enterprise working to produce high quality food in a socially and environmentally conscious way.

The Catering Experience at the Big Fig offers free 6 week catering courses to unemployed people who are interested in starting a career in catering. Our courses are designed to help people develop new skills, gain qualifications and work experience to build confidence and progress into meaningful employment and further learning.

While on the course, participants will learn food safety, cooking, knife skills, healthy eating, food preparation, and employability skills in a working kitchen environment with a work placement in France, Italy or Holland!

The course is delivered through classroom training and practical kitchen experiences. It includes:

  • Learning professional catering skills

  • Improving your work skills

  • Gaining catering and employability qualifications,

  • Carrying out a 2 week work training placement in France, Italy or Holland

  • Experience serving customers

“I’ve learnt so much more than I expected and a much wider range than I thought. I feel a lot more confident in my skills now and am excited to apply for opportunities with confidence.”

-Diva Lydia Boothe


The course and work placement are fully funded if you meet the referral criteria and includes the qualification, travel, accommodation in shared rooms and food in France, Italy or Holland.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be 19 or over, on employment benefits and have a current valid passport (and visa for travelling to France, Italy or Holland if needed), to be keen, fully committed and ready to engage in work and learning activities, have a strong interest in getting into the catering sector and be available to take part in a 2 week residential stay. Courses run 5 times a year.

Contact us to find out more at or call 01273 468161.