A hotel group has teamed up with the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) in an innovative move to address the chronic shortage of chefs affecting the hospitality industry.
ccording to the Restaurant Association of Ireland, there is a shortage of 7,000 chefs in Ireland and the Talbot Collection aims to reduce this through investment in a new training programme for trainee chefs.
The company has invested more than €250,000 in this new training programme, which is the first of its kind in Ireland and run in conjunction with the KWETB.
The programme is training 21 chefs across the entire hotel collection, all of whom are receiving a salary, accommodation, meals, and transport for the duration of the 12-week programme. Its aim is to help trainee chefs learn, progress, and excel in their careers with a growing, progressive, and family-owned Irish company.
The trainees are already three-weeks in and learning from the best in the industry at the KWETB professional training kitchens and upon completion of the 12-weeks of full-time training, each candidate will receive a City & Guilds Level 2, Diploma in Culinary Skills (the equivalent to a QQI Level 5 Award).
They will then have the opportunity to work as a Junior Commis Chef with a team of experienced chefs in one of The Talbot Collection’s five hotels: Talbot Hotel Wexford, Talbot Hotel Stillorgan, Talbot Hotel Carlow, Midleton Park Hotel or The Oriel House Hotel.
At the end of this tenure, they will also have the opportunity to take part in the Level 6 National Commis Chef Programme.
Group Managing Director of the Talbot Collection Philip F. Gavin said he is extremely proud of the work that’s gone into the training programme.
“I recently had the pleasure of visiting the candidates on site in one of the training centres and to say I was excited and proud at what I experienced is an understatement!” said Mr Gavin. “We’re hopeful that other businesses and groups will follow suit and start to invest in our hospitality industry in a similar way. The experience and practical skills that these trainee chefs are learning are truly second to none and I’m very excited at what’s to come over the next number of weeks.”
Eileen Cullen, Head of Training Services and Innovation in KWETB said they are delighted to have partnered with the Talbot Collection on this innovative initiative.
“As we head in to our fourth week, each of our 21 chefs are doing excellently!
“Last week they cooked lunch for 15 people, to an excellent standard, and they are all full of enthusiasm. I really believe this programme is coming at the perfect time considering the difficulties faced by hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes at the moment.
“The KWETB looks forward to partnering with the Talbot Collection again in the future,” Ms Cullen said.