Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quick to the Cut for Aspiring Chefs

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quick to the Cut for Aspiring Chefs

Article excerpt

A TRAINING programme developed in partnership with the North East Employer Coalition (NEEC) is helping aspiring chefs to become work-ready in record time.

The 12-week training programme that merges education and industry learning and would normally take at least 12 months at college, has already helped six graduates from the course to successfully find work as trainee chefs at some of the region''s top hotels. A further three are currently in training taking up permanent employment within the next month.

The Marriott Hotel Group's hotels in Gosforth and Durham, Oldfields Restaurant in Durham and The Stables Restaurant at Beamish Hall Hotel each appointed trainees from the course. Ramside Hall Hotel also took part in the consultation stage of the training programme and Hilton Gateshead and Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle provided training support.

The Speedy Chef routeway was developed in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, Newcastle College and the Learning and Skills Council together with local employers when, after consultation, it became clear that the normal source of recruitment was not providing the industry with the right calibre of entrants.

Although colleges provide NVQs in Professional Cookery, the time needed to achieve the Level 2 qualification is normally 12-18 months and provides little industry experience.

Janis Jones, NEEC's sector development manager explains: "Through our links with the catering and hotel sector we knew there were simply not enough work-ready candidates with the appropriate entry level qualifications to support the development of the catering industry regionally. We decided to provide a course which would allow candidates with the right attitude to gain some practical experience and the necessary qualification in record time.

"To be certain that the course recruits were of the right temperament and aptitude we used a two-week pre-employment routeway to allow students to really get a good idea of what would be required of them in terms of commitment and passion for the job once in employment - particularly working shifts. …

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