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Kitchen porter scheme is outlined

Government has moved on its promise to start a training programme for kitchen porters which addresses some industry concerns regarding quality of prospective employees.

A total of 60 people will be initially selected to join the programme, Economy Minister Patrice Minors told the House of Assembly.

“Participants will be selected from the Department of Labour and Training’s client base, including Financial Assistance clients and those clients who have been recently made redundant from the industry, ie Green Lantern Restaurant,” said Mrs Minors.

She said the training programme, which prepares unemployed people to apply for entry-level kitchen porter jobs, was developed by the Department of Labour and Training in partnership with the Bermuda Hospitality Institute and the Bermuda College.

“Simply put Mr Speaker, the aim of this programme is to ensure that they would be ‘job-ready’ when seeking employment in the industry.”

She assured the House that she had consulted with employers in the industry and was aware of their concerns.

“I recognise that they need suitable individuals to help fill the vacancies. And I also recognise that it is not a task that simply entails washing pots and mopping floors. We now understand that there is more responsibility to this job than what was perceived,” the Minister said.

“In essence Mr Speaker, our goal with the kitchen porter/kitchen assistant training programme is for participants to grasp an understanding of the fundamental knowledge that is required to effectively clean and sanitise surfaces and areas.”

The curriculum includes topics such as the difference between cleaning and sanitation, factors affecting cleaning efficiency, health and safety and soft skills training.

“The hospitality industry has accepted this curriculum as one that would adequately prepare participants with the acquired knowledge to become an effective kitchen porter/assistant if hired,” Mrs Minors continued.

“They also agreed that they would look more favourably to hiring these candidates if in fact such a position became available within their industry.“

Those who successfully complete the programme would be entered into a database at the Labour and Training Department.

“The hospitality industry would then be directed to check with the Department of Labour and Training for all possible candidates to fill vacant positions of kitchen porters.”

Programme participants “will be expected to attend class on time, abide by classroom etiquette, complete course work, etc,” she added.

Orientation for some of those selected began last week.

“As part of the orientation process, participants are assigned to do job shadowing at various hotels and restaurants in order to witness firsthand the actual workings and duties of a kitchen porter,” the Minister added.

“So you see, Mr Speaker, our intentions to ensure that Bermudians are afforded the opportunity to find gainful employment, are indeed tangible. And in the same scope, we are also demonstrating our commitment to our industry partners to ensure that they too succeed in this economic climate after all Mr Speaker hiring Bermudians is in our national best interest and in doing so, it can only result in a win-win for all concerned.”

(Photo by Akil Simmons) A new kitchen porters training programme will have 60.

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Published February 20, 2012 at 9:01 am (Updated February 20, 2012 at 9:00 am)

Kitchen porter scheme is outlined

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