New Cookery Course Aims to Tackle Chef Shortage

By Steve Wynne-Jones
New Cookery Course Aims to Tackle Chef Shortage

A new chef training course will be launched by the School of Food initiative in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, in a bid to help the high demand for chefs in Ireland.

The Professional Cookery course, a nine-month programme which will combine classroom work with on-the-job experience, begins in October. Successful students will receive a QQI Level 5 award.

According to the Irish Times, the course will combine three days of classwork and two days a week doing work experience in a professional kitchen. The programme is over 34 weeks and upon completion, the students “will be capable of working as commis chefs in restaurants or hotels”, according to the school.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland recently called for the re-establishment of CERT, the State training agency which, until it was abolished in 2003, provided training for the hotel, catering and tourism industry.

Currently only 1,800 chefs qualify from certified culinary training programmes in Ireland each year, the RAI has said that number needs to increase to 5,000 to cater to demand.

Students who graduate will get a chance to demonstrate their skills to potential employers at a graduate showcase. The opportunity to further their education will also be made available for students, as a Level 6 programme is currently being developed.