For the first time, the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge (NSSCC), the country’s premiere cooking competition for up-coming chefs, is offering a whole lot more than a prize for just a few.

This year, every competitor will get the opportunity to line-up a job, and kick-start a career with internationally recognised on-job training programmes, courtesy of ServiceIQ, Industry Training Organisation for the hospitality industry.

As a sponsor of the popular event, ServiceIQ’s expert hospitality advisers will work with every entrant who is interested in kick-starting a career, by matching them with respected employers and proven on-job training programmes that back-up their talent with the essential skills and knowledge on which to build a career.

This substantial “prize for all” will include the opportunity for some entrants to complete New Zealand’s favourite chef’s apprenticeship programme, that leads to an internationally recognised professional qualification and has launched hundreds of successful culinary careers.

ServiceIQ Schools Manager Mark Dronjak, says it’s exciting to be able to give so many young chefs the chance to turn up the heat on a cookery career as soon as they leave school.

“The reality is that New Zealand has a major shortage of skilled chefs. People with the right blend of practice, theory and real hands-on experience who can be relied on to walk into the heat of a commercial kitchen and perform at a professional level. But at the same time there are lots of passionate young people mastering cookery at school using ServiceIQ learning material, and who want to make a career being a chef. Through our sponsorship, we are able to put the two together to benefit everyone – students and employers, and over time, diners in cafés, restaurants and hotels around New Zealand. It’s a win-win!”

The NSSCC competition is open to all students over the age of 15 at the time of the Grand Final on 4 September 2018.

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