Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are today named as the highest earning catering course graduates on this year’s City & Guilds Vocational Rich List.
The list, now in its fifth year, tracks the development of businessmen and women who started their careers with a vocational qualification or training course.
It revealed that the wealth contributed by the catering industry has risen from £66m in 2003 to £115m in 2007.
The biggest success on the list is Gordon Ramsay, who has multiplied his wealth by two-and-a-half in just five years, bringing him £50m.
Jamie Oliver follows closely behind on £40m, with Delia Smith, a hairdressing course graduate turned chef, and Charlton House chief executive Robyn Jones both on £15m.
Gary Rhodes was the other catering graduate in the top 100, with an estimated fortune of £10m.
Chris Humphries, director-general of City & Guilds, said: “Our research shows that vocational millionaires tend to stay loyal to the profession that they trained in, helping to raise the profile of their industry and inspire future graduates.
“That’s good news for catering: with an estimated shortfall of around 60,000 chefs in the UK and the 2012 London Olympics just round the corner, trained chefs have never been in more demand.
“I hope the chefs who have made it onto our list will encourage people into the industry,” he added.
Phones4U founder John Caudwell, who completed an engineering apprenticeship in 1970, has topped the Vocational Rich List for four out of the last five years. He has an estimated personal kitty of £1.6b.
By Daniel Thomas
E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.