Washington, DC – April 1, 2016 – This month the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that eight million Americans are unemployed, while at the same time 5.5 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This crisis exists because employers demand "job ready" employees and prospective employees are simply not able to bridge the skills gap without appropriate education and training.
Although restaurant-goers may not be aware of it, the restaurant industry in America is facing an ongoing problem: from New York to San Francisco, there is a shortage of skilled employees. APSCU’s fifth look at the skills gap in America explores this issue and explains why private sector colleges and universities are necessary to solve it.
The need for skilled chefs and line cooks in America is growing rapidly. From 2004 to 2014, more new full-service restaurants opened than in any other part of the industry. In order to staff those restaurant kitchens, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2025, nearly 200,000 more line cooks and chefs will be needed, according to The New York Times. According to the National Restaurant Association, there will be 1.7 million new restaurant jobs created by 2026.
The most skilled culinary positions will grow faster than the rest of the American workforce. BLS projects that between 2014 and 2024 we will see a 9% growth in Chefs and Head Cooks. Not only are kitchen positions in high demand, they also require middle skills – skills which employers have found to be lacking in the modern workforce. As the leading provider of culinary talent, private sector institutions will play an essential role in filling this gap. Unfortunately, the current gainful employment regulation is threatening this sector because most chefs begin their careers in the training stages of a career and thus early salaries do not reflect the median income of experienced professional chefs.
“Private sector colleges and universities confer more than half of all culinary degrees. At Stratford University, we work closely with employers to ensure graduates are have the skills necessary to meet the culinary industry’s growing demand. Through strong collaboration, we help graduates find better placements and help restaurants staff their kitchens with qualified professionals,” said Richard R. Shurtz II, President, Stratford University. “More importantly, we prepare our graduates for promotion by embedding communication, problem solving, management, and team building skills into the curriculum.”
Other specialized chefs, such as pastry chefs will see a 7% growth over the same ten year period.
Private sector colleges and universities equip students with the skills they need to find culinary jobs, while also helping employers find qualified candidates. This emphasis on career-oriented education makes private sector institutions well suited to meet the needs of the American job market – and to help close the skills gap currently facing the culinary industry.
About Shortage of Skills
Each month APSCU will profile America's "Shortage of Skills" (SoS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America's economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues.
About The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU)
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. APSCU's work supports thousands of campuses that educate millions of students.