Written on 10-Mar-2017
A report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) at the end of 2016 found that 89% of Recruitment Agencies had reported that the demand for Chefs has increased over the last three years and that 47% of vacancies for chefs proved difficult to fill due to lack of skilled applicants.
How can we ensure new chefs stay in hospitality long term?
11,000 Chefs are needed in the industry by 2022 and 14,000 chefs graduated from college last year and yet there is still a chef shortage. This suggests there are enough new chefs available to satisfy demand however, something must be happening once they have started their chef career which means they leave the industry- the problem becomes retention.
Perhaps students coming into the hospitality industry are not fully aware of what to expect when they actually start work. Popular TV shows are giving them the view that being a chef is glamorous when in reality it’s a hard job with lots of pressures.
The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017 may mean that more budding Chefs will come into the industry and get a more realistic experience at the start of their career. Giving them the skills and experience to stay in the industry long-term.
Making mental health a priority
Organisations such as Hospitality Action raise awareness and prioritise mental health for chefs to ensure they have the advice and support needed. Their Employee Assistance Programme is a service designed specifically to assist hospitality people by providing specialist, independent and confidential advice, support and assistance. Whatever the problem, they are there to help 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
Bullying and harassment at work was the number one reason why people consulted the EAP in 2016 which reminds us of the reality of the problems chefs are facing on a day to day basis.
All hospitality businesses can sign up to the EAP by contacting Hospitality Action on 0203 004 5500. As of April 2017, all CJUK chefs will have access to the EAP.
Can we encourage chefs who have left, to return to the industry?
Phillip Hammond’s March 2017 budget introduced £5 million to help people get back into work who have had a career break.
The anti-social working hours for chefs’ means a lot of people leave the industry, especially when they start a family. Encouraging people back into chef work after a break could be a huge source of chefs.
Larger organisations like Asda are also taking flexible working more seriously and is possibly a way to tap into a pool of chefs who are skilled but currently not working in the industry
The squeeze on the supply of chefs and the increase in demand can only mean hospitality businesses are reforming and improving chef welfare which ultimately can only benefit the industry.
If you would like to discuss chef attraction, recruitment and retention contact Katie Mellor, Director at CJUK on 01254 355 666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.