Thursday, July 29, 2021

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris with Richard Brady and Philip Gavin of the Talbot Hotel Group and Eileen Cullen of the KWETB

A new programme designed to meet employer demands in the hospitality, tourism and catering industry will see successful candidates take up employment in the Talbot Hotel in Carlow among other venues.

Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science is today launching a new initiative to help meet employer demands in the hospitality, tourism and catering industry in Ireland and will see successful candidates offered employment across the Talbot Collection’s hotels including their Carlow location.

The Talbot Collection’s ‘Chef Development Programme’ is open to candidates nationwide. It will be delivered by the Kildare and Wicklow Education and training Board (KWETB) and is being funded through ‘Skills to Advance’, a national initiative providing upskilling opportunities for employees to progress in their careers.

It will see 20 successful applicants from all over Ireland take part in a 12-week training course in the state-of-the-art training facilities at Marine House, The Murrough, Wicklow Town and Bray Institute of Further Education.

Candidates will be accommodated in the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, for the duration of the program and will receive a City and Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Culinary Skills. Upon completion of the work-based programme, successful participants, who should be aged 18+, will be offered a two-year employment contract and the opportunity for further education and training through an apprenticeship at one of Talbot Collection’s hotels including the Talbot Hotel on the Portlaoise Road, Carlow Town.

Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, said: “I’m delighted to be lending my support to this initiative. It is an exciting opportunity for anyone looking to develop new skills and further their career.

“The hospitality, tourism, and catering industry is essential to the Irish economy, and unfortunately, it is also a sector that has been so heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With this in mind, I welcome this training programme, which is the next phase in a drive to boost the hospitality, tourism, and catering workforce, and I look forward to hearing about the success of the future candidates on the programme.”

Philip F Gavin, Group Managing Director of The Talbot Collection, commented on the initiative: “We are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to partner with the KWETB and have Minister Harris launch our Talbot Collection Chef Development Programme. This represents a significant investment for the ollection.

“It is widely accepted that there is a shortage of professional chefs nationwide. Never has it been more important to invest in our future, for the future.  We are very excited to offer this unique and fantastic opportunity to cooking enthusiasts in our communities who wish to pursue a prosperous career as a professional chef.”

Eileen Cullen, Training and Innovation Services Manager, from KWETB said: “It’s been a very difficult year for the industry and we are thrilled to be able to launch this initiative today, with the support of Minister Harris, and in partnership with The Talbot Collection, which aims to grow a workforce heavily depleted during the pandemic.

“KWETB is at the forefront educating and training workforces across all sectors, however hospitality and tourism are very close to our hearts. This new national initiative creates the opportunity for those new to the industry, offering on-the-job learning and the opportunity for employment upon completion. Anyone interested in applying for this fantastic opportunity can contact us at [email protected] for more info. You never know what the future may hold!”

For more information on KWETB or to learn about the training initiative contact [email protected]

More information on the Talbot Collection Chef Development Programme can be found directly at

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