The Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) has partnered with the International Culinary Studio (ICS) to provide excellent technology-driven culinary education offshore to combat a skills shortage in Taranaki.
The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and the Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL), shows recognised skills shortages in Aotearoa. Both Chef and Baker occupations are listed.
The International Culinary Studio is an online culinary provider founded to ensure current cooks and future chefs, who cannot attend face-to-face training and education in the culinary world, can earn a New Zealand and globally recognised qualification.
WITT and ICS have partnered to enable WITT to offer the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery Level 4 and the New Zealand Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) Level 5 offshore.
"Due to borders closing in 2020, Chefs and Bakers are on the skills shortage list," said WITT Chief Executive John Snook. "This has also meant a drop in the number of students studying these disciplines with us." 124 international students enrolled with WITT in 2019 and only 10 in 2021, affecting the ability of WITT to service the Taranaki industry.
A key driver of this partnership was to support the economic development of the Taranaki region. "It's important we are continuously looking for ways to meet the needs of industry," Snook explained. "We are focused on providing quality education to our overseas students. With borders re-opening in 2022, this agreement allows us to offer the NZ Certificate in Cookery Level 4 offshore early next year. Then students can transition to New Zealand partially qualified ready to support vacancies in the sector.”
The programmes will be delivered in India and Nepal via a blended learning model that combines personal one on one teaching by a fully accredited chef instructor and online education. All learning material is online, and the practical exams are conducted over zoom with third party moderation.