The Certificate in Plant-Based Cooking and Sustainable Practices is a short course designed to upskill existing culinary staff and potential new entrants in the skills required to serve the growth in demand for newer, plant-based menu options in the hospitality and broader food service sector, and do so in a sustainable way. It provides an upskilling opportunity for existing staff, equally an opportunity for a first qualification directed to people looking to develop a career in hospitality and food sector.
The plant-based food sector is worth about $30 billion globally and is forecast to explode to more than $160 billion with growth driven across environmental, health, nutrition, and animal welfare concerns. Bord Bia (2021) estimates that 8% of the Irish population are now vegetarian, while 2% are vegan whilst 16% are flexitarian. Deliveroo Ireland saw plant-based food orders increase 187% during the COVID-19 lockdown period reflecting diversity in food choices. Waterford Chamber Skillsnet (2022), Chef Network Ireland (2022) identified areas for upskilling chefs and deficits in knowledge areas such as food costing, sustainability and vegan, vegetarian menu planning.
This programme seeks to address this opportunity for innovative culinary graduates to increasingly enter employment opportunities in food industries with skills that better match the needs of industry. The National Skills Bulletin 2021 outlines Governments commitment to address vacancy notifications and difficult-to-fill vacancies, including skilled crafts such as culinary arts . Equally, Failte Irelands latest Labour Research Report (2022) identifying considerable difficulty in the recruitment of skilled chefs with 88% of businesses citing severe shortages of chefs.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, employment was growing strongly for chefs. The national number of chefs and cooks employed nationally was an average 28,500 (CSO 2018). The sector was decimated by Covid-19 pandemic. Numbers employed, declined in the year since 2019. The report outlined ˜people who found themselves unemployed due to COVID-19 with the skills required to re-enter the workforce is a priority through upskilling to include career changers wishing to retrain for alternative job opportunities in the food industry post Covid -19.
SOLAS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) identified the demand is rising for skilled staff in the hospitality sector, but supply has fallen with companies focusing on investing and retraining existing staff as much as hiring new ones. SERSF Demand from Industry for Skills Report 2021 identified specific skills shortages, such as chefs and the need to upskill staff in specific disciplines. Employers identified planning, costing and sustainability as key areas for upskilling chefs.
This new course is currently completing the academic validation process within SETU. Formal offers of SETU academic places will only be made following successful completion of the validation process.
Develop specialist techniques and reflecting the importance of plant-based cooking skills; detailed understanding of commodity usage. Explore a range of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, grains and pulses, gaining expert knowledge.
Provide students with the theoretical knowledge underpinning microbiological food safety, kitchen technology and food safety enforcements authorities. Students will also be able to investigate and establish technological principles.Plant Based Nutrition: Provide learners with a comprehensive understanding, based on current research, of how the adoption of a plant-based diet can largely contribute to better and sustained health over the lifespan.
Develop expertise and artistic ability in the area of pastry and confectionery, specifically vegan, vegetarian and plant-based alternatives. Focus on adaptation and recipe modification of pastes, breads, cakes, ices, chocolate work etc.
Provide students with skills, knowledge, and a more In-depth understanding of environmental, social, political, economic and ethical principles and issues related to the transformation of current societies to ones that are sustainable.
This module aims to give the student an overview of the concepts and uses of cost accounting within a culinary management context.
Provides students with a professional placement opportunity in a culinary setting and provide them with an opportunity
to develop crucial expertise.
Applicants should have a Leaving Certificate or equivalent major award at Level 5 please see http://www.nfq-qqi.com/index.html
Applicants who do not meet the academic entry requirements on the basis of certified learning may wish to consider using SETU Waterford's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) mechanism if they have equivalent experiential and/or certified learning. The Springboard RPL form is available at www.wit.ie/schools/education/springboard_ictskills. Please complete the form electronically and submit by email along with all supporting documentation such as education and training certificates etc.
Applicants for whom English is not their first language will, in all cases, be required to submit certification that they meet SETU Waterford's English Language Competency Requirements - please see www.wit.ie/about_wit/documents_and_policies/english_language_requirements
Where there are more applicants than places on the course, a selection interview will take place.
The programme addresses and recognises diverse industry needs. A further context for the development of this programme is the strategic importance of the hospitality and tourism sector, to the South East region. There is an estimated 24,800 employed regionally. Primary research in the South East region, indicate demand for enrolment and participation in a sustainable plant based driven culinary specialism area ˜to build upon existing skills and meet the demand of modern consumer preferences (Cliff House; The Vee; Lady Anne; Momo; Everetts 2022).