British Columbia is trying to figure out how to attract and retain chefs and cooks, as the specialized trade experiences one of the most acute shortages in the province.
The government announced this month it would spend $141,000 studying how to attract and retain quality workers to the industry, which is pivotal not only for tourism and hospitality, but also for the natural resources sector.
Chefs and cooks are considered the fifth-most in-demand skill set, with looming shortages just behind registered nurses, truckers, carpenters and financial auditors. Labour analysts predict 2016 is the point when the pinch begins in earnest, as the pool of younger workers becomes smaller than the number of aging workers who are eyeing retirement.
“Labour market data for cooks and chefs have been historically difficult to analyze,” Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, said in a statement released to The Globe and Mail.