De­mand for chefs a ‘hot topic’

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - LAWRENCE GULLERY AND KEL­LEY TANTAU

‘‘Kitchens are very hot places to work in. It can get up to 30 de­grees [Cel­sius] in the sum­mer.’’

Some chefs moved into the in­dus­try in their late 20s but by their early 30s were ready to get out.

‘‘They leave and be­come a rep or open up a cafe some­where. As a re­sult the de­mand for chefs con­tin­ues to rise.’’

He said many of the ap­pli­cants for his es­tab­lish­ments were from In­dia or China.

New Zealand Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Marisa Bi­dois said the short­age was ‘‘a hot topic for our in­dus­try’’.

More than 60 per cent of mem­bers stated find­ing a suit­able can­di­date had in­creased in dif­fi­culty over the past year.

The New Zealand Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion runs a Pro Start train­ing pro­gramme, work­ing along­side the gov­ern­ment to try re­cruit and pro­mote the in­dus­try to un­em­ployed peo­ple.

It’s aimed to­ward peo­ple the as­so­ci­a­tion be­lieves can make a suit­able tran­si­tion into the in­dus­try and offers month-long train­ing and on-the-job ex­pe­ri­ence.

The pro­gramme runs in Hamil­ton and Auck­land.

‘‘Our em­ploy­ment rate is ex­tremely low - there are not

Lawren­son Group chief ex­ec­u­tive John Lawren­son says find­ing top qual­i­fied chefs is be­com­ing dif­fi­cult in Hamil­ton.

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