RAI Welcome New Apprenticeship Proposals as a Stepping Stone in Tackling the Crisis Chef Shortage


Thursday July 30 2015, Dublin, Ireland.

  • New apprenticeships goes some distance in helping the crisis chef shortage.
  • Restaurants Association call for the re-establishment of CERT, the former State Tourism Training Agency.
  • Shortage of Chefs has now reached crisis levels, and threatens the Hospitality Industry.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) gives an overall welcome to the Governments announcement of new apprenticeship proposals today but reinforce the need for the re-establishment of CERT, the former State Tourism Training Agency.  The RAI says that there is now a crisis in the shortage of chefs in the country, and an investment in training is needed urgently.  The organisation is calling on the Minister for Education to re-establish CERT, with immediate effect.

Included in the 25 proposed apprenticeship programmes is a Commis Chef course which the RAI and The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) will run. The course will offer a total of 70 spaces. The RAI will also be working alongside IT Tralee, who will be running four chef apprenticeship programmes with 16 spaces available on each course.  Acknowledging the crisis chef shortage at the announcement, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD commented, “We know that there is a shortage of chefs throughout Ireland and that there is a serious demand and pressure on businesses and restaurants.”

Chief Executive of The RAI, Adrian Cummins commented on the new proposals, “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 state that the main skills shortages are among suitably qualified chefs.  Shortages of commis chefs feed into shortages at higher and specialist levels.  Among the applicants submitted for chef positions, many are deemed not to be appropriately qualified.  This reflects the fact that there is not enough chef training centres.  Currently 1800 chefs qualify each year from certified culinary training programmes.  There is an immediate deficit of 5000 chef trainees annually.

The RAI recommends investment in management and the establishment of 10 new chef training centres nationally.  CERT, the State Tourism Training Agency, was established in 1963.  CERT was responsible for providing a trained workforce for the hotel, catering and tourism industry. It offered training courses for those wishing to pursue a career in this field and for employees in the industry who wanted to develop new skills.  It was abolished in May 2003.

Irish workers are accounted for 69% of employees in the Hospitality sector.  This highlights the importance of the industry.  Mr. Cummins continued, “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. Instead, we are finding ourselves in a position where we have a severe shortage of chefs in Ireland which is now threatening growth and expansion in the restaurant sector.”


For further information contact:


C/o Restaurants Association of Ireland

11 Bridge Court,


St. Augustine Street,

Dublin 8.


Telephone: +353 1 6779901

Mobile: +353 86 8263311

Fax: +353 1 6718414


Website: www.rai.ie







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