Chefs course sees drastic fall-off in applicants

23 July 2001
Chefs course sees drastic fall-off in applicants
The number of students enrolling on the chefs course at a catering college in Surrey has dropped from nearly 50 five years ago to 18 this year. Peter Nast, head of hospitality at Guildford School of Chefs and Hospitality Management, said: "We have had a drastic fall in interest. When you look at other courses, like media or travel and tourism, the number of students has risen sharply. The main point about this is that it is inverse proportion to the jobs available. The industry needs skilled staff, it can't get them and schools are not telling kids to come into hospitality." He added: "The problem is that the image is still of low pay and long hours." To try to reverse the decline, the college has linked up with several hotels and restaurants, including Fish! and the Exclusive Hotel Group, which is sponsoring the department's Web site. The college has less trouble attracting students for its management and HND courses, but is hoping that links with food technology teachers in Surrey schools may help to attract more chef recruits. Guildford shares its student shortage with many other catering colleges. Last year, East Surrey College in Redhill closed its two-year advanced course in hospitality and catering after just three weeks, because only six students had enrolled.
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