Fáilte Ireland has welcomed measures announced by the minister for business, enterprise and innovation, Heather Humphreys, to increase the number of employment permits granted to overseas chefs coming to work in Ireland.
Commis chefs with two years of experience can now apply for an employment permit. Until now, this grade of chef was ineligible for a permit. The minister has also announced that the number of chefs, of all grades, to be granted a permit will no longer be subject to a quota. Previously, there was a cap of 610 permits.
Fáilte Ireland said that these measures will significantly help to alleviate the skills shortage currently being experienced in the Irish tourism and hospitality sector.
"Very Much Welcomed"
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Fáilte Ireland's director of sector development, Jenny De Saulles, stated, "The announcement made by Minister Humphreys will enable the tourism sector to fill some of the current chef vacancies across the country, and is very much welcomed by Fáilte Ireland. Tourism is now one of Ireland's biggest employers, and in order to ensure the sector can continue to grow and make vital economic contributions to Ireland, it is critical that the skills shortage is recognised and addressed as one of the most complex challenges facing the industry."
Working "On A Range Of Initiatives To Drive Long-Term Employment"
De Saulles added, "There is, of course, no silver bullet to address this skills gap. That's why Fáilte Ireland is working with stakeholders in both the tourism and education sectors on a range of initiatives to drive long-term employment in the industry. This includes the National Chef Apprenticeship programme, which will produce the next generation of great chefs. Just last month, a talented group of apprentices from Limerick Clare Education Training Board were the first class in the country to have completed the programme and will create a standard for future apprentices in this skill area."
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