Irish hospitality industry ‘needs 5,000 chefs by 2018’

RAI CEO Adrian Cummins
RAI CEO Adrian Cummins

Restaurants across the Irish Republic are being forced to close on Mondays and Tuesdays because of a chronic shortage of chefs the industry’s professional body has claimed.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) says 5,000 new chefs will be needed by 2018 and has called for emergency measures to be implemented to solve the crisis.

“Some restaurants across the country are being forced to close on Mondays and Tuesdays due to the shortage of chefs,” said RAI CEO Adrian Cummins, who also called for the for the re-establishment of CERT, the former State Tourism Training Agency.

“It is interesting to note that the other large industries in Ireland such as agriculture and fishing have dedicated training centres around the country.”

The organisation is calling on the Minister for Education Richard Bruton T.D. to re-establish CERT with immediate effect.

“The hospitality and tourism industry is one of our most valuable assets. It is ludicrous that there are no training colleges for our industry in this country,” Mr Cummins added.

“The chef shortage in this country is an ongoing problem. The new apprenticeship proposals are a stepping stone in tackling the crisis but the re-establishment of CERT is the only solution.”

The RAI states that the main skills shortages are among suitably qualified chefs. Shortages of commis chefs feed into shortages at higher and specialist levels.

“We want to be able to market Ireland as a centre of food excellence, a true culinary experience with world-class chefs leading the way,” he said.

“Instead, we are finding ourselves in a position where we have a severe shortage which is now threatening the success of the tourism industry’s recovery.”