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Apprentice Chef (RFA)
Job Role

Apprentice Chef (RFA)

You’ll provide your crewmates with the fuel they need to get the job done, as you learn everything about high-volume cooking.

HospitalityFood and drinkCateringCiviliansLogisticsApprenticeships
  • No qualifications
  • Royal Fleet Auxiliary
  • Logistics
  • Rating level

At a glance

It’s not just our engines that need fuel, our people do too. As an Apprentice Chef, you’re the person who provides it. Learn all about high-pressure, high-volume cooking, as you travel the world and experience things a civilian apprenticeship simply can’t match.
Chef Apprentice
I wanted to learn my trade as a chef, and travelling the world has always appealed to me. Now I get to combine the two. I’d never even heard of some of the ingredients I get to use.


Chef Apprentice RFA

Role details

What you’ll do

It’s not just our engines that need fuel, our people do too. As an Apprentice Chef, you’re the person who provides it, with three square meals every day. The nutritious food you provide will keep your crewmates going, so they can keep our ships moving. Alongside the Head Chef, you’ll learn all about high-pressure, high-volume cooking, as well as gaining skills in fine dining. From day one you’ll be travelling the world, using new ingredients and experiencing things you’d never encounter in a civilian apprenticeship.

Your role

  • Start your professional cookery career by learning how to use a variety of ingredients and styles. You’ll work under the guidance of an experienced Head Chef, creating varied menus for the entire crew.
  • Outside of the galley, you’ll have crucial duties to perform as part of the ship’s company, including firefighting, first aid, and being a member of the damage control team.
  • Unlike most civilian apprenticeships, you’ll have real responsibility from the day you start, working in challenging environments all over the world. The ship’s galley is hot and hectic, so you’ll need to have a calm temperament at all times.
  • It’s your job to make the ship feel like a home from home for your crewmates. Many of them will be at sea for months at a time and will look forward to the food you cook, whether it’s Friday Fish, or dinner for a social event.

Pay & benefits

  • A starting salary of more than £16,000
  • Earned Voyage Leave (EVL) of 7 days for every month spent on board ship
  • Membership of a Civil Service Pension scheme 
  • World-class training
  • Potential to travel the world

Skills for life

Qualifications you‘ll gain

  • Gain a Production Chef Level 2 Apprenticeship 
  • MCA certification that is financially supported by the RFA

Skills you‘ll develop

  • An in-depth knowledge of high-volume, high-pressure cooking
  • The ability to manage stores and ingredients, while creating interesting menus for a ship’s company



  • Aged at least 17 years 6 months to apply, and 18 years to commence employment. There is no upper age limit
  • No qualifications are required for this role
  • Must be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens. However, a number of career paths have nationality restrictions. Dual Nationality will be considered providing the first nationality is British. Note: Residency restrictions may apply
  • Need to have confidence with jumping into water and the ability to wade whilst wearing a life jacket

Skills & interests

  • A passion for food and hospitality
  • Great at working as part of a team
  • First-class communication
  • A sense of adventure

Joining process

From picking your role to starting on your first day, these are the steps you'll take to join as a rating.

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