Almost one-in-three 16-24 year olds and 30% of unemployed people would consider working in a top Asian or Oriental restaurant, but according to a trade body apprenticeships remain unfilled.
According to new research, commissioned by the Hospitality Guild, almost one in every three (30 per cent) 16-24 year olds and 30 per cent of unemployed people would consider working in a top Asian or Oriental restaurant, yet a new apprenticeship scheme to train chefs in Asian and Oriental cuisine is not fully subscribed.
The Hospitality Guild has recently launched five Asian and Oriental Centres of Excellence in England to address the skills shortages faced by employers in the sector.
Other findings from the YouGov survey reveal that 36 per cent of respondents, who would consider working in an Asian and Oriental restaurant, think that it would be fun to work in this industry.
Cyrus Todiwala OBE, founder of Café Spice Namaste, said: “I was nicely surprised about the findings of the survey. The best part of working in an Indian / Asian restaurant is that you can experiment in your kitchen ‘lab’ until you find the tastiest and best looking dish. There are so many international and local produce on offer. You cook it with a bunch of fun colleagues, and you see people come in hungry and leave happy. It is a very exciting industry to be in! I have been in it for several decades and still absolutely enjoy every single minute of it. Training is key and I am glad to see apprenticeships gaining more recognition as they are the most essential route to developing a career for any individual.”
Spreading the word
According to Suzy Jackson, executive director of the Hospitality Guild, “There are over 11,000 Asian and Oriental restaurants throughout the UK – roughly one in ten of all restaurants – employing over 70,000 people. We have leading employers in the sector signed up and committed to offering apprenticeship programmes, but we’ve not been able to fill the final handful of training places we have available. It’s encouraging to see that a third of young people would consider a career within Asian and Oriental cuisine but we need to collectively work together to reach them and explain the fantastic opportunities available to help people find worthwhile jobs.”
Suzy continued, “With high levels of youth unemployment it’s frustrating that employers are still struggling to recruit and we can’t fill our apprenticeship scheme. In a recent Omnibus survey, we found out that almost ¾ of the British population (73 per cent) didn’t know that the hospitality industry has been booming and continues to recruit, so we are looking to spread the message far and wide! This is a great industry to be in and it should be considered as the industry of choice when you leave school.”