Training locals in Savusavu to be professional chefs is a need. This is the sentiment expressed by Mr Robin Prasad, a businessman and the Head Chef of the Copra Shed-Marina in Savusavu.
Speaking to a team from the Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) visiting Savusavu, Mr Prasad raised that Savusavu and Taveuni are the only places in the Northern Division with great star hotels and where the tourist industry thrives.
“To get chefs from other parts of Fiji will be an expensive exercise; providing accommodation, travel costs, and other allowances. This can be addressed if the chefs are locally available,” explained Mr Prasad.
Mr Prasad, who has been living on the island for 17 years, has been serving in the tourist industry as a chef for almost 24 years.
“Those we employ have very little technical knowledge and skill-set thus the demand for more training and capacity building,” added Mr Prasad. “Having the industrial attachment would not be an issue with the many hotels and resorts available.”
Mr Prasad identified that the professional chefs currently in Savusavu are willing to assist in teaching if a training school is available and hoped that concerned stakeholders can make it happen.
The Fiji Higher Education Commission Director, Dr Rohit Kishore said that the training needs in any industry can be effectively identified by professionals and experienced officers.
“Students in Savusavu should see this demand as an area of interest and pursue related courses along this career path,” added Dr Kishore.
The FHEC is also ready to work closely with industry and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in developing standards for qualifications required by the respective sectors.