November 25, 2016

recently released labour market report is helping the hospitality sector better understand the demand for cooks and chefs throughout the province.

The report looks at cooking occupations in tourism, hospitality, health care, institutions and camps in the resource sector and asked how employers can better attract and retain skilled cooks and chefs.

The study found that demand for cooks and chefs is expected to increase on average 1.5% annually over the next ten years. As many as 39% of employers say they’ve had a vacancy within the last year for jobs in their kitchens, which they also ranked as hard to fill. Some of the shortages are greatest outside of the Lower Mainland, especially with entry level positions at independent restaurants and those that operate seasonally.

To help address the shortage, the Province has funded 106 critical trade seats for cooks, chefs, bakers since the launch of B.C’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. The Province has also made the cook, chef and baker programs eligible under the B.C. Access Grant for Labour Market Priorities. This grant provides up to $16,400 in non-repayable grant and loan reduction funding.

The study provided recommendations for the food services industry to attract and retain workers. They include increasing the number of full-time positions as well as developing fixed schedules for part-time workers and improving compensation. Other suggestions for improvements include:

  • The need to support small independent restaurants to improve business competitiveness.
  • The need to address training requirements for ethnic cuisine.
  • The need to promote improved life/work balance for kitchen staff to improve recruitment and retention of cooks and chefs.
  • The need to broaden the appeal of kitchen occupations to new labour pools such as older workers with a passion for food.
  • The need to increase consumers’ awareness of restaurant operating costs and narrow margins.

For more information visit: The complete Labour Market Analysis study can be found at:

Join the fight! Become a member today.


Our Partners