The local restaurants serve various cuisines with some of the best dishes in the world. If you love food and enjoy cooking for people, a commercial cookery career might be the right path for you.
A surprising report released by The Australian Chef’s Association indicates that Australia is among the best country in the world for a career in the culinary arena. According to The Drop, there are over 22,000 restaurants and food outlets in Australia, and nearly 40% of all cooks have been trained onshore.
According to Talent, the average salary for a cook in Australia is over $60,000 a year, plus tips, bonuses, and perks. Furthermore, there are numerous career progression opportunities, and more than 80% of chefs kickstart their businesses after a few years.
The country’s natural diversity leads to a richness of fresh and high-quality food, which keeps the chefs’ imagination flowing. It is this creativity that makes Australia the perfect place for a career in commercial cookery. There are many categories of jobs available across the country, position-wise ranging from apprentice to executive chef. The jobs also vary depending on the type of cuisine, from baker to pastry chef, ensuring that there are enough alternatives for you to choose from.
Last year, the commercial cookery industry was not as booming as it is in 2021. In 2020, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, almost every sector in the Australian economy suffered a massive hit. Many businesses had to shut down or limit their operations to a micro-scale to comply with the Government’s health policies and regulations.
Resulting massive losses spiked the unemployment rate. The number of available jobs in the culinary sector was below the curve. This vacuum created by the Covid needed to be filled. Since the economy is gradually gaining its pace back, the OPEN FOR HIRE banners visibility is much higher than before.
This year, the cookery industry is fully functioning and growing financially, like never before. Plenty of job opportunities came up for cooking professionals, making 2021 the perfect year for a commercial cookery career in Australia.
Let us dive into the major causes behind the scarcity of cooking professionals like chefs, cooks, and kitchen hands in Australia, and the prospects of building a career in commercial cookery and other related professions in Australia, along with all the privileges that come with it.
Are Commercial Cookery Jobs in High Demand?
Long story short, people just love exquisite cuisine.
Currently, there are skills shortages in different sectors. The occupations in high demand are mostly tradies
- Construction workers
- Teacher/IELTS Teacher
- IT Professional
The hospitality industry requires staffing every year in different job roles to operate. Due to this increasing demand, the owners in this industry are understaffed. New visa policies, lack of international workers, less trained newcomers are making it troublesome recruiting an adequate number of qualified people to run their businesses at full capacity.
Interesting Facts About Cooking Industry
Australia has an enormous scope in careers in cooking, baking, and patisserie.
- Over the last five years, the demands for chef has increased exponentially.
- Australian Government forecasts more solid growth throughout the next five years.
- The hospitality industry has an annual growth rate of about 14%.
- A valid anticipation states commercial cookery industry requires about 120,000 jobs.
- The Government foresees that this will result in 80,000 new job openings.
Reasons for the Supply-Demand Gap
The poor number of apprenticeships is to blame for the gap.
- According to National Centre for Vocational Education Research, the enrollment rate for apprenticeships has dropped by 3%.
- To add fuel to the fire, about 16% of the candidates do not complete the commercial cookery courses.
The experts have identified several reasons for this decline in the hospitality industry:
Misconception of Commercial Cookery
The new generation’s conventional mindset influences them to go for fancy university degrees that they believe will help them secure ‘better’ career options. Despite having an interest in cooking, they consider having a commercial cookery profession as a short-term means of living.
In contrast, they make up their minds on the ‘real’ long-term career choice. Based on this, many potential cooks, chefs, bakers, pastry chefs, and kitchen hands refuse to go for Vocational Education and Training (VET) and choose to pursue expensive university degrees.
This misconception hinders exploring the possibilities of careers in commercial cookery and how this choice might harmonize with their expectations and reality.
Shortage of International Workers
The demand for cookery professionals can not be solely met by the local supply of the workforce. The hospitality industry has always been dependent on international workers to sustain growth.
If a restaurant in Australia is randomly picked, it can be observed that lot of the workers are from overseas. The number of international staff has dropped considerably in this sector, which resulted in plenty of new job openings.
Dream vs Reality
Over the last decade, the popularity of various cooking shows and campaigns has promoted the idea of “celebrity chefs”. At least once in their life, any individual with the slightest interest in cooking, fancied becoming a celebrity chef.
This idea led many to get introduced to the industry based on mere fascination. As soon as they learn about the hard work needed to excel in this profession, they often look for a way out.
How to Achieve Career Growth in Commercial Cookery
Career growth potential is one of the key factors that every individual considers alongside compensation, security, and benefits before pursuing a career. Like in many other professions, growth in the culinary world can be achieved by gaining formal education, training, and apprenticeship relevant to the job titles and roles.
Job titles in Commercial Cookery may include Executive Chef, Head Chef, Sous Chef, Chef de Partie, Line Chef, Chef’s Assistant, Cook, Kitchen Hand, Baker, and Pastry Chef. Based on the positions and roles, employers may ask their employees to pursue a nationally recognized qualification before promoting them to a higher position in the hierarchy with better pay and benefits.
There are several nationally recognized VET courses in Commercial Cooking, Baking, and Patisserie that can be attained from any part of Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, and Darwin. The cookery courses in Australia are:
- Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
- Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
- Certificate III in Patisserie
- Certificate IV in Patisserie
- Certificate III in Baking
Difference Between Certificate III and Certificate IV Courses
Certificate III and Certificate IV courses differ based on the level of qualification, difficulty, and requirements.
What is A Commercial Cookery Certificate 3
The Cert III commercial cookery courses are Australian Level 3 qualifications. The contents of Certificate 3 are not as detailed as that of Certificate 4 in Commercial Cookery. For example, a Cert. Three graduates in Commercial Cookery are expected to have the basic theoretical and practical knowledge of how professionals kitchen works.
What is A Commercial Cookery Certificate 4
Cert IV commercial cookery courses are Australian Level 4 qualifications. Cert 4 Commercial Cookery graduates will have broader expertise in kitchen operations. The key to choosing the certificate level of a course is evaluating and matching the competency skills.
College & University VS RPL
The question must have crossed your mind already. “Which is better Universities or an RPL?” The answer varies from person to person. But weighing in the pros and cons RPL easily takes the cake.
There are two ways of getting your desired Australian qualification in Commercial Cookery, Patisserie, or Baking. One is the long and expensive way- attending a college or university. You can consider this the Highway to hell. (no pun intended)
The other is the shortcut, cheaper and The Right Way- through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Choosing an RPL certificate in cookery is the best and the most popular way to go for an Australian Qualification in Culinary Arts.
The Advantages of Recognition Prior Learning – RPL
Experienced and skilled workers in the industry may take up the desired qualification in their work using Recognition of Prior Learning, abbreviated as RPL. Prior learning assessment and recognition allow a candidate to gain a commercial cookery certificate, baking, or patisserie, without having to attend any physical or online classes.
Providing evidence of their skills, work and life experiences in relevant areas, the candidates may attain a full or part cooking certificate within 2 to 3 weeks. For example, a baker with two or more years of experience in baking can get a “Certificate III in Baking” qualification within a couple of weeks without attending a college or university.
A demonstration of work, experiences and skills with the help of documented evidence like referral letters from the employer. By taking RPL cookery courses, you can become qualified to work as a chef in any hotel or restaurant in Australia.
An RPL training certificate opens the door to so many opportunities.
- Get a promotion at current job
- Get a better high paying job
- Gain ability to apply at 5 Star Hotels
- Attain a chef skill assessment
- Start your business
- Get one step closer to permanent residency for international workers.
Is College or Universities the Right Choice for You?
A candidate may choose to attend school for a qualification in a desired culinary area. Going to a college or a university is expensive and a lengthy process to gain certification. However, individuals with no experience in this sector may want to go for this long and costly route as the first step.
For experienced individuals, going for RPL commercial cookery courses is the best alternative to get a qualification in the shortest possible time, at a pocket saving cost.
Advantages of a Career in Commercial Cookery
A career in the culinary world comes with plenty of advantages. The hospitality industry’s size and growth guarantee a great career with financial stability and a secured future.
There are several advantages of building a career in Commercial Cookery:
How Well Is the Employment Opportunity?
The commercial cookery sector’s job market is vast and diverse, with the industry rapidly growing every year. Therefore, the possibility of landing a job as a cook, chef, kitchen hand, or baking and patisserie professional is very high.
How Much Can I Earn As A Cook?
The yearly income in the commercial cookery sector ranges from AUD 45,000 to over AUD 100,000, depending on ranks. The remuneration package generally comes with a base salary, bonuses, superannuation. The road to success is long and rusty but it is certainly possible to reach there.
Lighen Up Your Mood:
What did the pastry chef say to his boss to get a raise? I knead dough.
Is A Chef’s Job Stressful?
Pretty sure there’s no job in the world that does stress you. The perfect work-life balance guarantees job satisfaction for the employees in this industry. Alongside good compensation, they get good work hours, ample breaks, and enough holidays to have time for themselves.
Is The Hospitality Industry Stable?
The hospitality industry is continuously growing to keep up with rising demands. Working in this market ensures stability and job security. Hence you will not have to worry about getting sacked or staying unemployed for long.
Is There Diversity in Australian Food Culture
The Australian food culture has evolved rapidly with globalization. Australians love to dine out while enjoying a wide range of cuisines. The fascinating food culture makes working in the cookery industry more exciting. So no matter which cuisine you love to cook, you’ll always have options.
Can I Have Creativity in Chef Job?
Though it solely depends on the employer, most chefs do encourage creativity. Commercial cookery jobs allow a person to explore their creative side of the cook. This creative exposure contributes a great deal towards satisfying emotional needs.
Is There High Restaurants in Australia?
There are tons of Michelin Quality Restaurants in Australia. The ambience and the standards of food in Australian restaurants and bakeries are always top of the line. The overall maintenance of quality and the healthy environment leave a pleasant vibe in the workers’ minds.
Can I Start My Restaurant in Australia?
Long story short, yes.Many culinary workers end up owning their businesses in the hospitality sector. Following the rigtht path, with the right qualification and experience it is possible. A commercial cookery career lead you to become your own boss and own a successful restaurant in this highly profitable industry.
Can RPL in Commercial Cookery Get Me Permanent Residency?
If you are an on shore chef. Started from the bottom as a student then started working in Australia as a Chef with extended visa. Once you have enough experience and RPL will certainly benefit you.
The chance of getting sponsored work visas, working as a chef or baker may help you to hit the jackpot that you have been longing for- Permanent Residency (PR) in Australia. With PR, you can live in Australia and leave and enter Australia indefinitely. The permanent residency also leads to Australian citizenship, which makes you eligible to get an Australian Passport with the privilege of visiting almost any country in the world without a visa.
Live The Australian Dream As a Chef
With its beautiful climate, stunning beaches, and great culture, Australia is a heaven on earth to reside in. A career in commercial cookery will let you live the Australian Dream that many people worldwide can only dream of.
Working Environment in Commercial Cookery
The Australian workplace culture is pretty laid-back and relaxed. As a commercial cookery worker, you can expect a casual work environment with easy-going workmates who address each other and even their managers on a first-name basis.
No matter what position you hold, you will be welcomed to speak your mind. With less hierarchy in the workplace, you will hardly encounter bossy treatments from your superiors. Australians like to socialize in the workplace and maintain a friendly environment; at the same time, they respect people’s privacy.
Moreover, the Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations ensure that a healthy and safe environment is maintained in every workplace. The Government highly regulates the Australian Labour Industry. Unlike in some other first-world countries, your boss cannot simply fire you without following certain procedures in Australia.
With fair pay, adequate annual leaves, and other benefits in commercial cookery jobs, the great workplace environment comes as a cherry on top.
The Existing Opportunities
Possessing a qualification in Commercial Cookery, Baking or Patisserie opens doors for diverse opportunities in various occupations such as baker, patissier, different categories of chefs, kitchen hand, and many more. As a qualified professional in this arena with a certificate in cookery testifying your expertise, you will never have to run out of options. Besides, Australia possesses an impeccable vocational training system that will allow you to enhance your culinary and commercial skills, which will enrich your resume to be a top choice for employers and be successful in the cookery world no matter what cuisine you pick. Last but not least, a career in Commercial Cookery may ensure your permanent stay in Australia if you have been struggling to find a safe pathway to permanent residency. There are also opportunities for sponsored work visas if you choose to work in this industry.
Can You Bear The Cost of living As A Chef?
This is part is solely for the On Shore non-australians and international workers. In short, Ofcourse you can.
Living expenses in Australia will vary depending on the state and the city you wish to move to. Accommodation is the main component of living costs in Australia. It is usually almost half the total expenses an individual must bear. There are two different living arrangements, living independently without sharing, living in a shared facility.
The cost of living increases as you choose to live in an apartment or house without sharing with others. The most common type of arrangement is shared living which usually includes living in your room with shared facilities and living in a shared room with shared facilities.
The other costs are usually food, transport, utility costs (gas, electricity, water), mobile and internet costs, health insurance costs.
The average monthly accommodation expense for a single individual is usually around AUD 800; for a couple, the cost may increase to AUD 1200. The total cost per month, including rent and other expenses, might lie somewhere around $1600 for singles and $2500 for couples.
Take Advantage of RPL!
If you have a genuine passion for cooking and love playing with the wok and garnishing a perfectly cooked meal or a fluffy baked pastry, a career in commercial cookery is the ideal choice for you. You can look up to world-renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jaime Oliver to know that becoming a culinary professional can be considered a long-term career choice.
Make up your mind and go for what you love. With RPL Certificates, get qualified to become a chef within three weeks and live your Dream. Contact a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to get your skills and experiences assessed to get that desired qualification.