Chefs' training under the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) system is disastrously inadequate, according to David Nicholls, executive head chef at London's Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel.
Nicholls told delegates at this week's Caterer and Hotelkeeper Chef Conference that whenever he employed an NVQ chef he always trialled them out in the kitchen first because he couldn't take for granted their skills.
"The lack of skills I have witnessed are truly horrifying sometimes," said Nicholls about NVQ chefs.
His comments are backed up by new research from hospitality Sector Skills Council People 1st entitled, the Skills Needs Analysis, which found sector-wide mistrust and ignorance of NVQs.
People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom said: "We need to simply the vocational qualification system and clearly communicate how NVQ levels relate to job levels, as currently there is not a good level of understanding," he said.
- Keynote speaker Nicholls was one of several high profile chefs to take part in the Chef Conference, which was sponsored by Nestle Foodservices and FreshRM. The day featured debate and dinner prepared by Millennium Conference Centre executive chef Ian Boxall. A full report of the event will be in the 3 November issue of Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine.
By Joanna Wood
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