A new industry-led National Commis Chef Apprenticeship Programme has been launched with the help of Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D.
The programme will provide young and aspiring chefs across Ireland with a two year formal education and training programme to begin their careers as professional chefs. Over 110 places are available initially.
The programme, the only one of its kind in the country, is supported by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), the Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI), Euro-toques Ireland, Catering Management Association of Ireland (CMAI), Fáilte Ireland, SOLAS, Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and Institutes of Technology (IOTs).
The programme will be delivered from seven Education and Training Boards (ETBs), including locations in Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Limerick.
Apprentices taking part in the programme will develop the theory, science and culinary skills in a college or education and training centre and put these skills into practice under the mentorship of qualified and experienced chefs in the kitchens of SOLAS approved hotels and restaurants.
On successful completion of the apprenticeship, newly qualified commis chefs will receive a QQI Level 6 Major Award - Advanced Certificate in Culinary Arts. They will also be eligible to progress to the Chef de Partie Apprenticeship at QQI level 7.
Launching the apprenticeship programme, Minister Bruton said: "I am delighted to launch the new Commis Chef Apprenticeship. This new national apprenticeship offers a welcome pathway to a career in the hospitality sector, where apprentices will learn critical skills to succeed in their field.
"One of the greatest casualties of the recession were apprenticeships. Registrations collapsed and fell by over 80% during the period. I am keen during my time as Minister to now, not only reverse this trend and rebuild traditional pathways but to significantly expand apprenticeships into new industries. I believe that expanding the range of pathways available to people to achieve their career goals is key to fulfilling our ambition to be the best in Europe by 2026."
President of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, Liam Edwards, said: “we are delighted to support this fantastic initiative, which will no doubt be a huge support in attracting apprentices into our growing sector over the coming years.”