Crisis Shortage of Chefs Forcing Restaurants to Close Mondays & Tuesday
5000 Chefs Required by 2018 to Fill Vacancies! New apprenticeships have made some impact in helping the crisis chef shortage, but more is needed. The Restaurants Association calls for the re-establishment of CERT, the former State Tourism Training Agency. As a short-term solution, the Association are currently seeking to partner with Chef Training Colleges worldwide to attract qualified chefs to Ireland.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) today calls for emergency measures to be implemented to solve the crisis shortage of chefs in Ireland. The RAI are again reiterating the need for the re-establishment of CERT, the former State Tourism Training Agency. Chief Executive of the RAI, Adrian Cummins commented, “Some restaurants across the country are being forced to close on Mondays and Tuesdays due to the shortage of chefs. It is interesting to note that the other large industries in Ireland such as agriculture and fishing have dedicated training centres around the country.”
The RAI says that there is still a crisis in the shortage of chefs in the country, and an investment in training is needed urgently. The organisation is calling on the Minister for Education Richard Bruton T.D. to re-establish CERT with immediate effect. Mr. Cummins continued “The hospitality and tourism industry is one of our most valuable assets. It is ludicrous that there are no training colleges for our industry in this country.” Mr. Cummins commented on the new proposals, “The chef shortage in this country is an ongoing problem. The new apprenticeship proposals are a stepping stone in tackling the crisis but the re-establishment of CERT is the only solution.” The RAI state that the main skills shortages are among suitably qualified chefs. Shortages of commis chefs feed into shortages at higher and specialist levels. Among the applicants submitted for chef positions, many are deemed not to be appropriately qualified. This reflects the fact that there is not enough chef training centres. Currently 1800 chefs qualify each year from certified culinary training programmes. There remains an immediate deficit of 5000 chef trainees annually.
The RAI recommends investment in management and the establishment of 10 new chef training centres nationally. CERT, the State Tourism Training Agency, was established in 1963. CERT was responsible for providing a trained workforce for the hotel, catering and tourism industry. It offered training courses for those wishing to pursue a career in this field and for employees in the industry who wanted to develop new skills. It was abolished in May 2003. Speaking about CERT, Mr Cummins said “CERT was fit for purpose and serviced the industry with skilled labour, it was held in very high esteem during its operational years.”
Irish workers account for 69% of employees in the Hospitality sector. This highlights the importance of the industry. Mr. Cummins continued, “We want to be able to market Ireland as a centre of food excellence, a true culinary experience with world-class chefs leading the way. Instead, we are finding ourselves in a position where we have a severe shortage of chefs in Ireland which is now threatening the success of the tourism industry’s recovery.”