“My decision to remove certain chef grades from the ineligible lists will ensure that there is a mechanism to address the shortage of qualified chefs in the short term,” commented the Minister, “I have applied a quota to ensure that in the longer term the demand for chefs is met from a steady supply in the Irish labour market.”
The Restaurants Association of Ireland is “delighted” with the development.
“The hospitality industry in Ireland has been under significant strain in recent years in regard to staffing and allowing more skilled professionals to enter the industry can only encourage further growth in this sector,” commented RAI Chief Executive Adrian Cummins, “The Restaurants Association of Ireland has been lobbying on this issue since 2012. There is an urgent need for 7,000 chefs per year to service our industry.”
The Irish Hotels Federation too has welcomed the changes announced to the Employment Permit Regulations which will help ease the serious shortage of chefs currently hampering the hospitality industry.
“Ireland’s tourism and hospitality industry relies heavily on the consistent delivery of a quality product,” said IHF President Michael Lennon, “We need a highly-skilled workforce to achieve this and the additional flexibility to recruit suitably qualified chefs from outside the EU will help to ensure that we can meet this high standard.”
Hospitality outlets must advertise the job for two weeks and if no suitable applicants are found they can then seek an Employment Permit. Over 60,000 people are employed in Irish hotels with tourism the country’s largest indigenous employer supporting approximately 230,000 jobs – equivalent to 11% of total employment.
Earlier this year, a new industry-led National Commis Chef Apprenticeship Programme was launched to provide young aspiring chefs across Ireland with a two–year formal education and training programme to begin their careers as professional chefs. The programme is supported by the IHF and other industry bodies.
More than 60,000 new tourism jobs have been created since 2011 and Michael Lennon said that the industry is on target to create a further 40,000 tourism jobs by 2021. Most hoteliers plan to increase staff numbers during 2018 according to a recent industry survey across all areas of their business.
“The hospitality industry in Ireland has been under significant strain in recent years in regard to staffing and allowing more skilled professionals to enter the industry can only encourage further growth in this sector,” commented RAI Chief Executive Adrian Cummins.