While students prepare for their prom nights and celebrate the end of their exams, how many of them will have considered a career in hospitality?
The industry is seeing an acute shortage of trained chefs — from Michelin starred restaurants to gastro pubs, and experiencing rising worker shortages, with job vacancies at their highest levels since records began.
According to Paul Croasdale, protégé of Gordon Ramsay and Chef Patron at The Flitch of Bacon, “If you are passionate about food, there is no better time to learn.
“Our industry has been battered by bad press over recent years, and there is no denying it is hard work. However it is also an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career, after all, people will always be hungry for good food.
“The restaurant industry is screaming for more professionals with proper hands-on experience or culinary training, and there are some excellent catering colleges in the UK.”
There is no doubt the hospitality industry can see people working long hours, shift work and unsociable hours (evenings/weekends). Some feel that this makes the industry less of an attractive proposition, particularly since people have re-evaluated their work life balance after COVID, but Paul is keen to point out “It’s important to remember that, even as a chef, you can still achieve that work-life balance.”
Cherie Brightwell, Head of Department, Service Industries at South Essex College said: “As the hospitality and catering industry continues to rebuild after the impacts of the pandemic, there has never been more demand for qualified personnel in the sector. This means training provision in this area is a vital asset in helping train professionals of the future ready for the workplace.
“The sector offers an array of options and specialisms making hospitality and catering a vibrant and exciting industry. At South Essex College we offer a variety of catering options including cookery as well as patisserie and confectionary. These courses range from beginner to advanced levels, so there really is something for everyone.”
To sample Paul’s dishes at The Flitch of Bacon please go to www.flitchofbacon.co.uk or to find out more about catering courses at the college visit www.southessex.ac.uk