The School of Food, a community led initiative in County Kilkenny which serves as an educational food hub has announced details, in association with Taste 4 Success Skillnet, of a fully accredited cookery course for aspiring Commis Chefs.
The Introductory Commis Chef Programme titled ‘Modern Skills for Modern Chefs’ is aimed at job-seekers looking to develop chef skills and secure employment. The programme will provide candidates with an in-depth introduction to the role of a Commis Chef.
The Introductory Commis Chef Programme builds on previous initiatives from Taste 4 Success Skillnet and The School of Food to help bridge the current gaps that exist for suitably skilled and qualified Chefs at varying levels in the hospitality industry.
Industry research indicates at least 5,000 new professional chefs are required each year until 2020; there are currently less than 2,000 people qualifying from accredited training institutions.* This means that less than half the number of skilled chefs which are needed to sustain and further develop the industry are being trained annually. The total deficit by 2020 is estimated to be in the region of 64%.
Edwina St Lawrence, Course Developer with The School of Food says, the severe shortage of trained chefs across Ireland has seen many restaurants employing kitchen assistants with little or no experience.
“Staff are frequently given the bare minimum training leaving them uninspired and with little desire to remain in the industry.
“It is essential to foster a real interest and passion for food and cooking to allow individuals to develop within the industry whilst providing them with the necessary training.” she said.
School of Food and Taste 4 Success Skillnet, through the Introductory Commis Chef Programme aims to fill this gap.
Having launched its first fully certified Professional Cookery programme in 2015, they have trained over 50 people, the majority of whom have secured full time employment.
The new hands on ‘Modern Skills for Modern Chefs’ Introduction Commis Chef Programme, beginning Monday 26 February 2018, will be delivered over 11 weeks in the School’s purpose-built, state-of-the-art modern facility.
Along with promoting hospitality as a rewarding career path, it will provide fully trained and qualified candidates who will be ready to step into immediate employment to the industry.
The Introductory Commis Chef Programme is fully funded by Taste 4 Success Skillnet and will be delivered to qualifying Job Seekers* free of charge. Those who graduate will receive an Award in Food Industry Skills which is aligned with the QQI Level 4 Award.
Developed in consultation with Chefs from across the Southeast of Ireland, candidates will be taught through a combination of kitchen based learning and work placements.
As one of the country’s most important sectors with 158,000 people directly employed in hospitality, this sector is worth €3 billion to the Irish economy annually.* Since 2010, Taste 4 Success Skillnet has been delivering a range of accredited Chef Skills programmes.
Speaking about the Programme, Michael Slevin, HR Director with Rosderra Irish Meats, and Promoter of Taste 4 Success Skillnet said, “Chef and hospitality skills are crucial to enable the hospitality sector to thrive.
“Our members are committed to continued up-skilling and training of their people and they recognise the need to develop ongoing supply of talent for the sector.
“This approach enables businesses to respond quickly and effectively to ever changing trends and demands.
“Through our work, we have been able to collaborate and maximize the combined value of expertise across the sectors. This ensures we support our members, both large and small, indigenous and multinational, to train ourselves, our employees, future employees, and to continue to be drivers in creating employment and business for Ireland.”
The Taste 4 Success Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.