Jack O’Dea – The Chester Hotel

At the age of 17, Jack decided that rather than going to college, he wanted to combine study with hands-on learning. After working in a local restaurant, a hospitality apprenticeship at Aberdeen’s prestigious Chester Hotel offered him the ideal opportunity.

Now 20, Jack says he has well and truly caught the ‘hospitality bug’.

Here’s Jack’s story:

“I left school at 17 and hoped to get a trade apprenticeship, but due to the pandemic, that didn’t go to plan. I found a job in a bar/restaurant, and it just clicked – I loved the customer interaction and realised I could make it a career. They call it the hospitality bug, and I now know why!

“I saw an advert for the hospitality apprenticeship on Facebook and applied. I wanted to work at The Chester due to its reputation and the fact that it is family-owned. I started in September 2021, and I am very happy there.

“I’ve always been more of a practical person; I prefer to learn while doing, so an apprenticeship made more sense to me. And with Hospitality Apprenticeship North East, I think I am getting a better experience as I get to work and learn at the same time. I have enjoyed the Learning Bites sessions, which have enabled me to get out and see wider aspects of the hospitality industry.

“At The Chester, I have completed my rotations in food and beverage and housekeeping and am currently working in the kitchen, which is my favourite so far. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, and even though it’s demanding, I think the teamwork involved means there’s a tight bond in the kitchen which I like.

“The whole hotel has a great atmosphere, and I have been part of the team since day one. I don’t get treated differently from other staff members and feel trusted and respected.

“I now know that hospitality is an excellent career to pursue, and that experience is as important as learning and knowledge. And, thanks to my apprenticeship at the Chester Hotel, I am getting the best of both worlds!


Hospitality Apprenticeship North East is delivered by Training Matters