Tourism body, VisitEngland has revealed new figures surrounding the shortage of skilled chefs across the country, as part of a wider drive to attract young people to the industry as part of English Tourism Week.
Nearly half (47%) of vacancies for chefs proved difficult to fill due to a lack of skilled applicants, according to the new statistics.
VisitEngland is highlighting the issue during English Tourism Week (14-22 March) to encourage young people to enter the industry and in particular, consider being a chef as a career option.
Emphasising the work already being done by the hospitality sector to attract young people to take up apprenticeships, it also urges the entire sector to make even greater efforts to recruit more chefs.
Figures from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) Employer Skills Survey reveal that 1 in 5 vacancies in the hotel and restaurant sector are skilled jobs. When it comes to skilled chefs this rises to nearly half (44%).
Chef shortages are particularly prevalent in London (66%) and in the South East (46%).
James Berresford chief executive of VisitEngland says “We are proud of England’s growing foodie reputation which relies heavily on skilled chefs delivering quality across the many fantastic restaurants, pubs and hotels across the country. We need to ensure there is enough being done at grass roots level to inspire young chefs to enter the industry and fill the skills gap, if we are to meet visitor demand.”