With a shortage of approximately 7,000 chefs in Ireland, according to the Restaurant Association of Ireland, the Talbot (hotel) Collection is investing more than €250,000 in a new training programme which is the first of its kind in Ireland.

The course will run in conjunction with Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) and aims to train 21 chefs across its entire collection of hotels.

Benefits and qualifications

All trainees receive a salary, accommodation, meals and transport for the duration of the full-time 12-week programme. The aim of the programme is to help trainee chefs learn and progress in their careers.

After completing training, each candidate will receive a City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Culinary Skills which is the equivalent to a QQI Level 5 Award.

Head chef of the Talbot Collection Wexford Nigel Corbett says that participants can expect to be trained by some of the most-skilled chefs in the industry. “It’s no secret that our industry is facing challenges at the moment,”he says. “We’ve spent several months carefully creating and developing this programme to ensure that participants receive the highest level of training from some of the most-skilled professionals.

“The participants have thrown themselves into their training right from the beginning and it’s wonderful to see their talents and passion at such an early stage.”

Career opportunities

After the course is completed, participants will have the opportunity to learn and work on the job in one of The Talbot Collection’s five hotels: Talbot Hotel Wexford, Talbot Hotel Stillorgan, Talbot Hotel Carlow, Midleton Park Hotel or The Oriel House Hotel.

The job opportunity will be a full-time junior commis chef position where candidates will receive continuous development – not only with on-the-job training, but also with online learning modules, leading to the chance to take part in the Level 6 National Commis Chef Programme.

Trainee testimony

Jelena Medvedeva is currently a trainee chef in the Talbot programme. “I started working as a kitchen porter in the Talbot Carlow in February 2020, just before the pandemic. I’ve always loved being in the kitchen and this course is now giving me the opportunity to develop the skills I’ve learned over the last year and a half, and I’m also learning many new techniques.

“We are all very grateful to be learning from some of the most accomplished professionals in our industry and I am eager to keep learning from them over the next two months,”she says.

To find out more information on The Talbot Collection Chef Development Programme, visit talbotcollection.ie/careers.