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From young frier to trainer

As judging for next year’s Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Competition comes to a close, Pete Calvert is keen to carry on his journey by becoming an NFFF trainer

For the last month I’ve been extremely busy both in and out of the shop and, as always, I am enjoying every day.

Mister C’s has been extremely busy in the National Fish & Chip Awards and we are extremely proud to have been shortlisted for the top three for the Quality Award Champions, the top five for the Staff Training and Development Award as well as the top 10 for the National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year Award. We are working very hard for these awards and are excited for the award ceremony in January. It is fantastic news for all of us and I feel so happy that all the hard work that has been put in has resulted in our great progress.

I have also been working with the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) to become a trainer on the various courses they offer. I’m extremely excited by this opportunity as it gives me a chance to show newcomers to the industry the skills that I have learned as well as provide an insight into how rewarding it is to be part of the country’s most prestigious industry. It also gives me a chance to network and socialise with the NFFF and the other trainers. I find each time I do things like this it improves the skills I have and helps me develop new skills in the areas I haven’t delivered before.

And that’s why training is so important, not just for your staff but also for yourself. You’ve got to keep pushing yourself as there’s always something new that can be learned. I’ve picked up something from literally everywhere I’ve been - whether it’s a formal training course or a stroll around another shop. There are always different ways to do things, sometimes better ways, but sometimes it’s just taking bits and bobs and making it your own.

It is hard to believe that it’s been 10 months since I was named the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year and it has certainly flown by, but it truly has been an incredible journey. I have experienced so many different things and it honestly makes me feel like a different person compared to when I first entered. And that’s one of the best things that entering the awards can do for individuals and businesses alike.

I had the opportunity of actually sitting in and listening to this year’s Young Fish Frier candidates during the semi-finals of the competition as they talked about PR and how they might promote their win. It was quite weird being on the other side, I know what it feels like to be in that situation, so I encouraged them to relax and just do their best. The judging is now complete, so it’s a case of having to sit and wait until January, but I wish all six the best of luck. I think it’s going to be a tight call again this year!

I still have so much more I wish to do and continue to progress with as I strongly believe there is something to learn and improve, and I can’t wait to do it.

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