The catering industry is suffering from a skills shortage and the need to recruit more staff. Brexit is likely to increase this pressure. What’s needed is a way to encourage people to enter the industry and, once here, to quickly pick up the basics and build a career. That’s why CESA has launched the Principles of Food Service (PFS) training initiative. It aims to give newcomers the knowledge they need to understand the industry, to help them make the most of their career choice – and to help them start making a positive contribution.
The new training initiative has been born out of the success of the Certified Food Service Professional (CFSP) scheme, launched and run by CESA in conjunction with the University of West London.
PFS is aimed at all foodservice organisations, both operators and suppliers. It covers what the foodservice industry encompasses – such as pubs, leisure centres, hotels, prisons, hospitals and schools – and the differences between a domestic and a commercial kitchen, including explanations of some key industry technologies, like combi steamers. It tells students what the key drivers in the industry are, including changing consumer tastes, technology, healthy eating and energy saving. It explains how the food and equipment supply chains work and looks at areas such as food safety and hygiene.
Based around a pictorially-based online presentation, the PFS course takes two hours to complete. It is designed as a framework, allowing it to be adapted by the business using it to suit the audience. It will be delivered by suitably qualified CFSP graduates. Successful PFS candidates undertake discussion with their mentor as they progress and, based on the successful completion of the course, receive a certificate.
“This is an exciting new initiative,” says Glenn Roberts, chair of CESA. “Both operators and suppliers need to focus on attracting and retaining staff, upping their skill levels and fulfilling their personal development goals. These elements are all going to be critical to the survival and success of our industry. Initiatives like PFS are significant steps in the right direction.”