Chefs from Cork gathered for a special mentoring workshop at the Cork Institute of Technology to support the new Chef De Partie Apprenticeship Programme workshop, supported by Fáilte Ireland and other tourism industry bodies. The workshop was held by Fáilte Ireland to assist existing industry mentors, who have apprentice Chef De Parties’ in training to employ the necessary practical coaching and mentoring skills and as part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s response to address the skills shortage that currently exist within the culinary industry.
The Consortium Steering Group for Chef De Partie was established in 2015. Its membership consists of representatives from the Irish Hotels Federation, the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), the Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI), Euro-toques Ireland, the Catering Management Association of Ireland (CMAI), Institutes of Technology (IOTs), the Panel of Chefs and representatives from Fáilte Ireland and SOLAS.
Members engaged in a review of both national and local labour market conditions and skills shortages. The group agreed that what was required was an education and training programme that provided progression pathways from Level 6 to 9, whilst still working in industry, gaining valuable experiences, as well as the academic qualification. The lead industry partner for the Level 7 Chef De Partie Culinary Arts apprenticeship are the Restaurants Association of Ireland and Irish Hotels Federation.
Head of Tourism Careers in Fáilte Ireland, Paul Hayden said: “A very significant part of the new Chef De Partie Apprenticeship Programme is that the apprentice will experience alternating phases of on and off the job training, so it is crucial that the training and support available within the workplace is of a high standard. Fáilte Ireland is determined to ensure the success of this new apprenticeship scheme to create the best educational environment for apprentices through the hosting of mentoring workshops.
Adrian Cummins, CEO of the RAI, said: “The Chef De Partie Programme is another step on the road to solving the skills shortage in our sector. We are delighted that Fáilte Ireland, in association with the Restaurants Association of Ireland, have delivered on our commitment to establish a Chef De Partie Programme for the sector with the support of Solas and Institutes of Technology across Ireland. It’s vital that restaurants and hospitality businesses feed into the apprenticeship scheme locally and utilise the opportunity to upskill existing staff who want to pursue a career as a Chef or take on an apprentice chef in their establishment.”
Tim Fenn, Chief Executive, Irish Hotels Federation, highlighted the important leadership role of mentors.
“The Chef De Partie Apprenticeship Programme, which has been developed by a consortium, including industry bodies, Institutes of Technology and Fáilte Ireland, presents a great opportunity for those who are interested in pursuing a culinary career with an earn and learn model. It is an important part of progression to the role of executive chef and provides a crucial opportunity for employers and mentors to advance the way we attract, develop and retain people in our industry.”
Speaking about the mentoring programme, Head of Department, Tourism & Hospitality Cork Institute of Technology, Dr Noel Murray said: “We are delighted to collaborate with our industry colleagues in the development and delivery of the Chef de Partie Apprenticeship Programme. This earn and learn method of programme delivery allows students to obtain a Degree qualification, whilst crafting and honing their skills in industry. Collaborating with industry mentors provides an essential foundation for relevant skills development coupled with educational achievement, which will no doubt enhance their career trajectory.”