Chef Banned From Kitchen Because His HEIGHT Poses ‘Health & Safety Risk’

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A chef who stands at just 3ft 10in tall has been banned from a college cooking course because he is a “health and safety risk”.

Louis Makepeace, 18, has been refused a place at Heart of Worcestershire College after being originally offered a conditional spot.

He claims college bosses branded him a “safety risk” to the other 14 pupils and would cause a “disruption” if he got under their feet.

His mum, Pauline, 56, also said she was told by a course leader there was no point in him doing the programme as he would “never be allowed to work in a restaurant anyway”.

The teenager who dreams of being the next Gino D’Acampo – has had his confidence seriously knocked following the humiliating blow.

Louis, of Worcester, has achondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism.

He said: “It was really upsetting as I had my heart set on this course.

“We are supposed to have equality of opportunity yet I’m not allowed to do something I love doing.

“They are simply not prepared to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate me such as making the surfaces and hobs lower.

“We were prepared to be flexible and my mum said I could maybe do the cooking at home whilst the new equipment was installed but they kept saying no.

“They said I would be a health and safety risk and disruption to the other students and get in their way, which was really humiliating.

“It really has dented my confidence, how am I ever supposed to get the culinary skills that’s going to get me a job in a catering environment.

“All the time I was at school I was always very confident, I had lots of friends and my disability was never an issue.

“But how am I supposed to get by if this is how I’m treated – I feel like I have been excluded from the real world.

“My confidence is shrinking and I feel that people stare and laugh at me. People just think I’m still a kid and will push in front of me in queues.

“I just want to be treated as a normal person without them laughing at me and go around and do quite normal stuff.”

“He said it was pointless doing the course as he would never be allowed to work in a restaurant kitchen anyway even if he qualified. It was outrageous.

“He claimed that Louis would be a health and safety hazard in the kitchen to his other pupils so we couldn’t have him standing on a step of some sort.

“Apparently it would take seven weeks for contractors to come in to make adjustments such as a lower surface and lower hobs and they weren’t prepared to wait.

“It wouldn’t be so bad but there was a chap there several years ago who had the same condition as Louie and they adjusted the kitchens for him.

“I would have thought that would have had the same equipment there that he could use.

“I keep getting so irate because we were prepared to be flexible and do work from home video a video-link while the adjustments are made.

“But they just keep fobbing me off with excuses and say he should do another course instead.”

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