Chef shortage leads to restaurants closing for part of the week

5,000 additional chefs are needed...

Ireland is facing a major shortage of chefs which is causing some businesses to shorten their working week.

According to the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), 5,000 additional chefs are required by 2018 to fill vacancies.

Chief Executive of the RAI, Adrian Cummins commented, "Some restaurants across the country are being forced to close on Mondays and Tuesdays due to the shortage of chefs. 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 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.

His organisation has called on Minister for Education, Richard Bruton to invest in training programmes to fill this gap.

The federation wants the Government to re-establishment CERT, the former State Tourism Training Agency. It was abolished in May 2003.

"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," he said.

As a short term solution, the RAI is partnering with chef training colleges worldwide to attract qualified chefs to Ireland.