Being a chef can be a very rewarding career. Photo: Michael Wave

Want to be a chef in West Cork?

West Cork has developed a reputation as a culinary hotspot, and it’s no surprise when the local produce is so good.

But there are significant challenges in recruiting staff to the hospitality sector so Cork College of FET-Westside Hospitality Centre are collaborating with a group of hotels in West Cork to launch the second intake of the West Cork Chef Academy.

The brainchild of John Byron of Cork College of FET-Westside Hospitality Centre, Karen Healy hospitality training specialist and Neil Ross of the Celtic Ross Hotel, West Cork Chef Academy los aims to promote West Cork as a food destination.

Organisers say it’s an amazing opportunity for someone looking for a career as a chef.

Cork College of FET-Westside Hospitality Centre is a centre of excellence for hospitality training in Cork, and is managed through Cork College of FET-Bishopstown Campus.

Cork College of FET are delighted to once again be running the West Cork Chef Academy in their Westside Hospitality Centre. This innovative programme took place for the first time last year with participants from the Celtic Ross, Eccles Hotel, Liss Ard Estate, Fernhill House Hotel and Waterfront Hotel Baltimore.

Last year’s programme was a great success, and two of the graduates have now gone on to study the Level 6 Commis Chef Apprenticeship in Cork College of FET-Westside Hospitality Centre.

This year’s programme is open for applications, and anyone with an interest in beginning a career in chefing is urged to apply. Learners will train for 26 weeks and will

benefit from on-the-job mentoring

see artisan food producers like @woodcocksmokery & @roaringwaterbayropemussels at work

receive a City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Food Preparation & Culinary Skills on completion of the course.

Learners are employed by the hotel and study in Cork College of FET-Westside Hospitality Centre. After an induction week in April at the Cork College of FET- Westside Hospitality Centre on the Model Farm Road in Cork, the trainees will continue to attend there one day a week, and will spend the other four days per week working and benefiting from on-the-job mentoring in their assigned hotel, over a further 25 week period.

The programme is funded under the Government’s Skills to Advance initiative which subsidises employees to engage in further education and training courses for free.

For more information on the programme, contact Assistant Manager in charge of Apprenticeship and Skills to Advance, Cork College of FET.

For more information on Cork ETB’s FET offering, visit