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New learn-as-you-earn programme for aspiring chefs


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

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.

Box out story for editors:

Logan Brown partners with WelTec to inspire student chefs to reach for the stars

Every aspiring chef dreams of working in a Michelin starred restaurant and Logan Brown wants to help young chef’s turn their dreams into reality.

WelTec and Logan Brown have joined up to offer students, enrolled at the WelTec School of Creative and Hospitality, the chance to win a “Best Performing All Round Student” award.

Winners of this accolade will benefit from lunch with the owners of Logan Brown during which Steve Logan and Shaun Clouston will share insights into working in the hospitality industry; running a high-end, fast paced business; and explain the highs and the lows of the restaurant trade.

Winning students will receive a $250 voucher for dinner or lunch at Logan Brown and will also have the opportunity to gain work experience, alongside the owners and senior team, to learn about operations, management and financial systems with the possibility of a job offer at the end of it.

“We want to see more chefs get qualified,” says executive chef at Logan Brown, Shaun Clouston. “That is why we are encouraging students to work hard toward attaining qualifications.

“Having been in this industry for a long time, I know the benefits of having a qualification to your name, especially when you head overseas and want to work with the best - or even if you want to make a name for yourself here in Wellington, employers really focus on it - its critical.”

“When I studied many years ago things were a lot simpler, now, as a chef, you need to understand HR, systems, menu design and in-depth wage and food costings. It is more than being a good cook - it’s about knowing how to run a good business.

“This means that getting qualifications in a traineeship set-up, like the new one WelTec is offering, has benefits for us, and benefits the students.”

“It is a user-friendly way for the students to learn in a supported study environment with set goals and timelines. It also means that when they are in the kitchen the chefs can concentrate on teaching skill and technique.”

“We have had a good long-standing relationship with WelTec and I know the team behind the new course, the thought and planning that has gone into it - which will no doubt mean that it will be a success.”

“We want to develop the restaurant industry in Wellington, and in New Zealand, and we want New Zealand chefs get to the best restaurants in the world, at Logan Brown we can use our reputation to help them - a good reference from a premium restaurant can be a great foot in the door.”

Media contact:

Ruth Lavelle-Treacy | 021 104 6909 |

Further information on WelTec’s New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4) Managed Traineeship

WelTec’s new two-year, block release, programme supports trainees to work towards becoming a qualified chef whilst continuing to be employed in the industry.

Students will learn through practical tutorials and workshops and be assessed in a purpose-built environment alongside other trainee chefs. Access to WelTec’s online learning system and regular onsite visits by tutors to the student’s work places will provide additional support to both the trainee and the employer throughout the process.

Candidates must be employed for a minimum of 24 hours per week in a WelTec approved hospitality business in an appropriate position (e.g.: Kitchen Assistant, Commis Chef, Junior Chef or similar role).

The first intake of this programme starts on the 21st of October and you can read more about it here.

Benefits to the business include:

- Retain your employer at work, with minimum disruption in releasing them for off job training

- Upskill your staff, and increase your service standards and productivity

- Focus only on on-job training, and let WelTec take care of the trainees’ off-job training requirements, e.g: completion of theory components, and assessments

Benefits to the employee

- Learn while you earn

- Gain a recognised qualification while working in the industry

- Enjoy the great level of training support which WelTec can offer

- Increase your career prospects by developing your skill level


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