Education food supply specialist Green Gourmet is stepping up the roll-out of its school cook supply programme in response to this September's new nutritional standards.
The scheme, which currently has 20 lead cooks on its books, plans to recruit 200 staff next year and spread from a Midlands to a UK-wide project.
Managing director Adam Starkey said: "Research shows that staffing is the biggest issue for school caterers. There's even greater urgency now after Jamie Oliver."
The programme currently pays lead cooks between £7.75 and £9.50 an hour, which Starkey said ensures they get "high-quality staff that can take control of a school kitchen."
By Tom Bill