Halifax-area high school students are getting the chance to explore careers in the culinary trade this summer.
Serve It Up! is a new youth apprenticeship program led by the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resources Sector Council. It gives students the opportunity to work in commercial kitchens with Red Seal Certified cooks to gain practical, hands-on experience while earning credits toward graduation.
Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan was joined by students, representatives from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, culinary sector partners, industry members, the apprenticeship board, and the school board at a kickoff event today, July 26, in Halifax.
“Hands-on learning experiences like this are a perfect way for young people to learn about different careers,” said Ms. Regan. “Programs like these connect employers with students to help them discover great opportunities right here in Nova Scotia.”.
Student Amanda Jamieson is spending the summer working under executive chef Luis Clavel at Cut Steakhouse, Shuck Seafood and Raw Bar in downtown Halifax.
“I’ve always loved to cook,” said Amanda. “I saw opportunities for students to train in other trades and always wished there was something similar for the cook trade, so when my teacher told me about this program I immediately signed up. I’m getting great experience and plan to continue my apprenticeship and earn my certification.”
“This important initiative will help increase the number of youth apprentices in the culinary trade, ensure that the sector has the skilled and professional workers it needs, and highlight Nova Scotia as a centre of excellence for tourism education,” said Scott MacAulay, chair, Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council. “These students have a genuine passion for cooking and we want to do everything we can to nurture that interest and help influence their choice for post-secondary education.”
Serve it Up! is the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency’s third sector-based apprenticeship summer youth program. TestDrive and Building Futures for Youth have provided more than 650 students with paid summer employment and hands-on trades experience. Government has invested more than $1.3 million into the programs since they were launched.