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New chefs must do their time

Published on Friday, 24 Sep 2010
Celebrity chef TV shows have raised students’ expectations.
Firms feel personal hygiene is a key issue when hiring.

Hoteliers and restaurant owners in Britain, who are fed up with receiving unsuitable applications for chef jobs, have signed up to a new government-backed "matchmaking" scheme that connects appropriate candidates with employers, The Daily Telegraph reports.

At least 15 organisations in the hospitality sector are set to trial the new service next month.

Employers have long complained that students leave catering college expecting to become the next Jamie Oliver (pictured, above) rather than being prepared to work long hours and carry out "boring" tasks. The National Skills Academy for Hospitality, which is running the new scheme, will match budding chefs from colleges it trusts to teach the right behavioural skills with appropriate vacancies.

Andoni Sanchez, of Andaz Hotels, part of the Hyatt group, backs the scheme. He says: "Because of celebrity chef TV shows, we've had people who have come in and who expect to be running the kitchen and get promoted within six weeks. Colleges are teaching them the technical skills, but they are not prepared for the hard graft in the kitchen, so they leave."


Foreigners fail to make grade 

There has been a 30 per cent increase in job applications to Hong Kong from overseas compared with a year ago, according to recruitment firm Ambition.

However, based on an internal survey conducted with the agency's business units, only 1 to 2 per cent of overseas job candidates possess the regional experience required. There has also been a general rise in salaries, with hiring activity picking up and a shortage of qualified professionals. While a return to the 30 per cent plus pay increases before the financial recession is yet to be seen, banks are offering an average 12 to 15 per cent. Within the commercial sector the average is 8 to 12 per cent. 


Time to clean up their act  

A lack of personal hygiene is the one trait that makes a person less employable above all others in the eyes of Britain's bosses, The Guardian reports.

According to a survey by human resources consultancy Reabur, 68 per cent of business owners agreed that putting aside experience and qualifications, poor personal hygiene would be the main factor in deciding whether to employ someone or not. Negative body language (64 per cent) was ranked a close second, followed by poor speech and grammar (59 per cent).

Of the business owners stating they would be less likely to hire an individual with poor personal hygiene, 29 per cent agreed that bad body odour would be the strongest reason for this, while 21 per cent cited bad breath. Other personal traits employers found unappealing included bad dress sense (56 per cent), inappropriate sense of humour (47 per cent), or workers considered unattractive (41 per cent).

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