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Food Industry in British Columbia on a Drive to Attract Workers

January 2018, 22
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Shortage of kitchen staff has forced some restaurants in British Columbia to shut down, others had to reduce hours. There are plans to keep their chefs and cooks in the kitchen.

There are facilities like helping the cooks through payments, for attending a culinary school, and implementation of averaging agreements, where the staff can work for four days, in a 10-hour shift, in place of five-day shifts of eight hours. There is a huge demand for the skilled people, and it is hard to recruit qualified people. People find it easy to just to finish off, and leave when the conditions are not proper, or when the payment is not enough, or even when respect is less.

The food industry is searching for strategies, to deal with the shortage of chefs/cooks in the province. There are several initiatives and recommendations, forwarded by the Restaurant and Food Services Association, to manage the labour shortage in the industry, which has forced many restaurants, to either shut operations or reduce the working hours. A research was carried out by the association.

The millennials who form a big audience, have a dissimilar way of thinking, and a different cultural expectation than was prevalent in the past. The culture of the workplace is changing to adjust to this reality. There is a benefit program meant for part-time workers, and restaurants are reacting towards looking at career paths.

There are attempts in the food industry, to have a code of conduct for ensuring a healthy culture in kitchens. A challenge to be taken up by the industry is, tackling the reputation that kitchens are greatly intimidating to work.

Presently, the stereotypes of impulsive chefs, shouting and screaming in the kitchen are gone, and the culture has changed in the past decade.  Experts in Food industry say millennials expect a better workplace culture and accommodate it through mentorship and ideal working hours.

Wages paid have also registered an increase, to attract skilled labour. When they are not high the staff is lost.

The increased wages are still not enough for workers, to have a decent living in the city.  Yet another issue is transportation because suburban areas have to be reached, at odd hours, when the duty of the cooks is over.

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