Contractcaterer Aramark is combating the industry’s skills shortages by hiring chefsfrom hotels and highlighting the progress of staff from washing-up jobs tomanagerial positions.Aramarkemploys more than 3,500 people across the UK, with clients as diverse asNomura, Arthur Andersen, the Royal Navy and HM Prisons.Contractcatering has been hit by the same skills shortage affecting the rest of theindustry, which left 30,000 unfilled catering places across London overChristmas (News, 5 December 2000). The company must also try to overcome thestigmatised image of contract catering.Aramarkis an accredited provider of NVQs in food hygiene and catering, and providesall staff with training-based career progression to allow the company to keepits employees in the fold. Training director Jenny Wright said, “We find thatif employees stay with us for 12 months they tend to stay for three to fiveyears.”HRmanagers at the company have five weeks to fill vacancies to try to beat theshortage. The company aims to double insize its two-and-a-half years.SimonWarren, executive chef with Aramark’s operation at Arthur Andersen, hasrecruited two of his team of 12 chefs from hotels. He convinced the chefs to joinby providing them with the chance to cook restaurant-quality food and enternational cooking championships. Senior chefs working with Aramark also get theopportunity to go on cooking secondments with top hotel chefs such as CharlieTrotter.Twoof Warren’s chefs began their careers at Aramark as general assistants, whileanother began as a kitchen porter, doing the washing up.Warrenadded, “Because our chefs serve food to customers as they cook, they also getto develop customer service skills.”ByRichard Staines Catering for successOn 20 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.