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Addressing the causes of chef shortages in the UK

Pratten, John D. and O'Leary, Barbara (2007) Addressing the causes of chef shortages in the UK. Journal of European industrial training, 31 (1). pp. 68-78. ISSN 0309-0590

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Abstract

Purpose – To outline the reasons for staff shortages in the UK catering industry and then to decide if further training could help to address these issues. Design/methodology/approach – The objectives have been achieved by examining the training provisions at a college, and then asking the students, their training staff, employers and employees about their needs. Findings – The study has revealed that the basic training available is suitable for purpose. However, the career ambitions of the students were focussed on restaurants, and they ignored the other catering outlets. A greater knowledge of other forms of employment could retain more staff within the industry. In addition, restaurants could offer greater training to their staff, particularly as the need to manage new skills such as stock control are encountered. Research limitations/implications – It should be noted that this study merely reports on one small area of the country, and is further limited by small samples. To make more definitive suggestions, a more extensive study should be undertaken. Practical implications – The work suggests that greater co-ordination between the training provider and all sections of the industry could ensure that more catering staff remain within the sector. Originality/value – It is hoped that this paper will initiate debate on the issue of staff retention and persuade the non-restaurant sector to act more positively on the issue.

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