Monday, 7 September 2015

Industry shortage of Chefs

It's a skill, it's a passion and its long hours..... but why as an industry are we facing a kitchen crisis with a shortage of chefs. The whole industry and its credability is under threat if we loose the kitchen skills to a dumb down quick fix drag anyone in mind set. We've had a chef de partie vacancy for over 4 months now and not so much as an application. It's been on our Facebook, with a chef agency and in the local rag and still nothing. Having become a little paranoid that it's was us I set off to phone some colleagues and discovered that they too were struggling. 
What is it that we want ? The answer is simple TRAINING and we need our local college and the current vogue thinking and practice of 2 day week courses to revert back to full time, Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm courses with good 3+ month blocks of industrial release experience across the regions hotels. We need courses that get our young talent ready for the hard slog of the real world and a real kitchen. It's hot, long hours, split shifts but it's a rewarding career if you want to climb the ladder and understand you must walk before you can run.
Let's face it Dumfries and Galloway hardly sets the culinary world on fire, we all try our hardest to showcase local produce and work with local suppliers but we all struggle due to a lack of skilled labour in our sector. We can train in house and the majority of us do, but we need the local college to be the industry feeder. There are jobs out here to be taken and as a region tourism is our lifeline.
If we want to keep holiday makers coming we need to.
So I'm off to the college next week to have a look around the new catering department to get an understanding of why the majority of full time courses are 2 to 3 days a week. I'll report back in due course.

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