WelTec School of Creative and Hospitality launches new learn-as-you-earn programme for aspiring chefs in Wellington’s booming restaurant trade

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In efforts to develop the talent of aspiring chefs while they are on-the-job, WelTec’s School of Creative and Hospitality has designed an exciting new programme, the WelTec Managed Traineeship New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4. 

This programme is specifically designed for trainee chefs already working in professional kitchens to ensure the skills they learn at work are backed up with academic qualifications gained at WelTec. This combination will put them on a pathway to success. 

“What we are doing here is meeting the needs of both the student, who is eager to start earning and the hospitality industry, who want their trainees qualified,” says Ben Shadbolt, Programme Manager

at WelTec’s School of Creative and Hospitality. 

“We have done this in response to research and significant engagement with the hospitality industry who desperately need qualified chefs to support the booming restaurant industry in our ‘cool little capital’, which is fast becoming a renowned ‘cool foodie capital’. We promised we would get it up and running within a year, and we have. “ 

“It has been fantastic to get such great support from high profile restaurants like Charley Noble, Logan Brown and the Wellington Hospitality Group,” says Ben. “Because for this to work, it has to be a three-way partnership with the employer, the student and us.” 

Iain Bamber Head Special Projects at the Wellington Hospitality Group, which runs nearly 40 restaurants, bars and pubs in the region, explains the importance of a programme like the one WelTec has developed. 

“Opportunities for qualified chefs are everywhere, but there is an acute shortage and we often see frustration from our trainees who feel they are not progressing towards their apprenticeship qualifications fast enough. Equally, our head chefs, more than ever before, are under increasing pressure to manage and run busy, complex kitchens and don’t have time to fully support trainees to get the more formal learning a qualification requires. 

“We are excited that WelTec’s new course will solve both these issues by seamlessly combining the best of both our worlds - students will get focussed vocational training in safe, custom-built training kitchens taught by excellent tutors with teaching qualifications, combined with ongoing professional development and coaching while working and earning in a real commercial kitchen,” says Iain. 

HospitalityNZ is supportive of WelTec’s new offering and chief operating officer Julie White says that the new Managed Chef Traineeship is a great way to attract and retain people into hospitality.  

“A ‘learn-and-earn’ approach provides the ability for staff who are already highly engaged in the sector and working in kitchens to gain qualifications without having to give up work to study. We see this as a great way for our members, such as restaurants and hotels, to support, motivate and retain staff,” says Julie. 

Logan Brown, who is partnering with WelTec to provide an award to students, wants to see more chefs get qualified. “We have had a good, long-standing relationship with WelTec and I know the tutors behind the new course, the thought and planning that has gone into it - which will no doubt mean that it will be a success,” says executive chef, Shaun Clouston. 

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