Bridge to Employment offers chance to taste success in hospitality industry

Date published: 12 April 2018

The Department for the Economy is reminding budding chefs that there is just one week left to apply for the Bridge to Employment Trainee Commis Chef programme.

Bridge to Employment offers chance to taste success in hospitality industry
Bridge to Employment offers chance to taste success in hospitality industry

Working in partnership with a consortium comprising of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF), sector skills organisation People 1st and 17 hospitality businesses, the Department’s training programme provides an introduction to the basic skills required to work as a professional Commis Chef.

The Bridge to Employment programme aims to equip unemployed people with the skills to compete for new job opportunities. Successful applicants will attend a four week training course, delivered by Belfast Met at their e3 Campus, resulting in a guaranteed offer of an interview by representatives from a hospitality business with a view to offering permanent employment.

Chris McConkey, Head of Employer Skills at the Department for the Economy said: “With Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector being one of our largest employers, this initiative offers a great opportunity to forge a career in this vibrant industry. Tourism and hospitality here have gone from strength to strength in recent years and if we are to continue this growth then collaborative programmes such as this, providing a structured path of training and development, will be vital to the development of the next generation of culinary talent.”

John Stuart, NIHF Director, said: “The hospitality industry needs great people. Many new hotels are opening this year and existing restaurants will be even busier. This will create further job vacancies and many roles within the sector offer internationally recognised qualifications that allow people to travel and have long and well-paid career paths."

Roisin McKee, NI Director, People 1st, said: “The Bridge to Employment programme is a fantastic opportunity for those who wish to become chefs and for employers looking to recruit them. With over 2,000 chefs needed in Northern Ireland by 2024, there are a wide range of career opportunities on offer and the programme is a welcome intervention to address the chef shortage. We are delighted to be part of this collaboration which provides a hands-on introduction to professional cookery and a stepping stone to pursuing a rewarding career as a chef.”

Further information is available by visiting: or call at your local Jobs & Benefits office.

Completed application forms must be returned to any Jobs & Benefits Office to arrive not later than 4pm on Thursday 19 April 2018.



Notes to editors: 

  1. For media enquiries contact DFE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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