New chefs' school meets a need
A new cuisine school to be launched by the Vocational Training Council will help to meet a shortage of manpower in the catering industry while filling the council's need for more space and resources, executive director Dr Carrie Willis says.
Willis said yesterday that graduates of the council's Chinese Cuisine Training Institute and the Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre had a 100 per cent employment record but its programmes were insufficient to meet demand.
Establishment of a third school, the International Cuisine College specialising in wine and international food, was announced by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen in the policy address.
'In our current programmes, although we already have training courses in wine and Western cuisine, it is not enough to meet the needs of our city's development,' Willis said. 'Our resources and facilities are already at full capacity.'
Council chairman and legislator Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said the new school's location had not been chosen but it was expected to be on a 12,500 sq m site - more than double the total 6,000 square metres of training space of the two existing schools.
Willis said the city needed more such facilities. 'We don't even have space for wine storage,' she said. 'This new institute will fulfil our need for more space and resources.'
The new college will also offer more in-depth training in cuisines from Europe, the Mediterranean, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. Courses in Korean cuisine will also be offered for the first time.
The two existing schools enrol 4,000 full-time and part-time students a year. The new college will offer 2,000 places - 400 for those with no prior training and 1,600 for those already working and seeking further training. The three schools will offer training places on diploma, foundation diploma and short courses.
The Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, also a VTC institution, will also begin offering a bachelor's degree in Chinese cuisine and food design.
In the past 10 years, the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute alone has produced 15,000 graduates.
Jordi Chan Ka-ho graduated 10 years ago from the hospitality school with a certificate in food and beverage supervision, and is now a wine gallery manager. 'The restaurant I worked for at the time had a shortage of people familiar with food and wine pairing, so I had their support in studying part-time for the certificate,' Chan said.