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Michael Caines and People 1st launch development programme for female chefs

22 June 2010 by
Michael Caines and People 1st launch development programme for female chefs

Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines has teamed up with sector skills council People 1st to launch a pilot programme designed to further the careers of female chefs within the industry.

The Women 1st Female Chefs' Development Programme, which has been set up to address the gender imbalance within the chef sector, will help female chefs develop the necessary skills to progress to management level.

The programme, which has been developed by People 1st with the help of public funding, will be available to 45 female chefs at a small cost. Delivered externally over six sessions across the UK, it will teach female chefs confidence, assertiveness and management skills and cover finance and business planning, menu engineering and practical training.

Michael Caines, chef patron of the two-Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park in Devon and partner and director at the ABode boutique hotel group, said the initiative was "truly inspired".

"The gender gap amongst chefs needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. This programme is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the importance of attracting women into the trade while helping those already in our sector to progress and take up more senior roles," he said.

Recent research into the sector by People 1st's found that more than 60% of chefs are male, with an even greater number in the restaurant sector where the vast majority of chefs are male. Many respondents said that women within the sector were being held back by a lack of mentors and female role models.

Sharon Glancy, business solutions director at People 1st and champion of Women 1st, said: "Our leadership development programme and mentoring network have already proved successful, supporting over 200 female managers in the sector with their career progression. We hope to replicate that success with female chefs."

If you are interested in joining the Female Chefs' Development Programme, or wish to nominate one of your colleagues, please contact Dan Power at

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By Kerstin Kühn

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