AN initiative that has already created jobs is gaining in popularity across the North East hotel industry.
The Speedy programme, developed and funded in partnership with the North East Employer Coalition (NEEC), Jobcentre Plus, the Apprenticeship Service, local colleges and participating employers, aims to fill the huge skills shortage when it comes to recruiting trained, committed commis chefs within the hospitality sector.
Within the training programme, unemployed candidates undertake an intensive 12-week learning experience of education, mentoring and practical hotel and chef skills.
It is clear to see the benefits to both employers and candidates, considering this type of training would normally take 12-18 months of college learning.
Through continuing assessment via college lecturers, hotel managers and head chefs, the programme trains, mentors and provides practical industry experience for candidates to achieve their NVQ level 2.
Prior to this, a pre-employment 'route-way' is delivered over a short period at college, allowing students to sample what is required by way of commitment and passion for this career path, leading to placement-ready certification, such as Food and Hygiene.
Now the programme is expanding into other areas of hotel and hospitality through the 'Speedy Service' initiative, leading to more employment opportunities in jobs ranging from reception to silver service waiting.
For employers such as Adam Hegarty, head chef at Six Restaurant at the Baltic, Gateshead, the benefits are clear: a willing potential job candidate working under the management of a head chef, with an industry-related qualification at the end of the programme.
After completing the 12-week Speedy Chef programme last September at a placement in Six restaurant, Michael Pengelly from Northumberland, was offered a full-time position as commis chef. Since then, Michael has proven his worth as a skilled chef and is making excellent progress.
Adam said: “Michael is a committed, high-calibre trainee chef and we are delighted to have him on the team at Six.
“I would highly recommend Speedy Chef to any other hotel or restaurant looking for qualified chefs.”
As the programme gathers momentum around the North East, Speedy continues to produce trained, qualified people ready for available job positions in the hotel and hospitality industry.
For more information, contact Janis Jones on 07971 994852 or Jim Taylor on 07702 436567.