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Chef shortage threatens tourist boom (national)

Chef shortage threatens tourist boom (national)

Hospitality recruitment specialists Towngate Personnel are lending their support to claims that a shortage of skilled chefs throughout the country could threaten the tourist boom expected during 2012.

The London Olympics promises an influx of visitors from oversees, while many Britons are expected to forgo foreign sunspots and instead holiday in their own country.

But statistics published on Caterer.com demonstrate that the shortage of chefs could jeopardise the much hoped for tourism boost.

Advertised head chef posts are attracting an average of only nine applicants. That number dwarfs the number applying for waiting and reception jobs in the hospitality industry which averages around 60 for each job advertised.

Towngate Personnel operations manager James Tucker claims the shortage of skilled chefs is a long standing problem and has been exacerbated by a lack of junior chefs joining and then staying in the industry.

He said:  “The problem dates back to the mid-1990s after the last recession and it has never gone away.

“There is a shortage of junior chefs and over the years this has impacted on the number of experienced chefs available.

“The number of applications for junior chef jobs is even lower than the figure for those applying for senior posts.

“Many junior chefs are now finding themselves promoted to senior chef very quickly. And many of those leaving college to go into the profession are expecting to gain promotion quickly as well. I am all for people getting on with their career, but it now means that there are also less people at head chef level who are capable of successfully managing a busy kitchen”

Ian Burke, a director at Caterer.com, insists that the country’s hospitality industry must plan for the future if it is reverse the shortage of skilled chefs.

He said: “Along with adequately preparing for the Olympics, hospitality businesses should use this moment in time as an opportunity to recruit, train and progress staff for the coming years.”
Local tourist boom threatened by chef shortage (local)

Hopes of Dorset enjoying a tourist boom during 2012 are being jeopardised because of a shortage of skilled chefs, tourism and hospitality experts are warning.

Dorsetis expected to enjoy an even bigger influx of visitors in a year in which the country will enjoy both the Olympics and the Royal Diamond Jubilee.

But with statistics showing that there are only nine people applying for every job advertised for senior chefs, compared with 60 for reception and waiter posts, the expected boost to local tourism, and its long term benefits, could be under threat.

Commenting on the statistics James Tucker, operations manager of Westbourne-based recruitment specialists Towngate Personnel, claimed that the lack of skilled chefs has a been a problem within the hospitality industry for the last two decades and Tucker insists that the problem has been exacerbated by a shortage of junior chefs both joining and staying in the industry.

“The problem dates back to the mid-1990s after the last recession and it has never gone away.

“There is a shortage of junior chefs and over the years this has impacted on the number of experienced chefs available. The number of applications for junior chef jobs is even lower than figures for those applying for senior posts.

“Many junior chefs are now finding themselves promoted to senior chef very quickly. And those leaving college to go into the profession are expecting to gain promotion quickly as well. I am all for people getting on in their career, but it now means that there are less people at head chef level with the fully rounded experience to manage a busy kitchen”

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