Title Vocational Learning for Sustainable Catering Systems
Project Number 2012-1-SE1-LEO05-11673
Product state of the art report
Title state of the art report
Product Type others
Marketing Text A report covering the state of the art in training and education of catering staff in the public sector, with focus on pre-school and school cooks.
This report is a summary of work conducted during work package 2 of the
LdV Project Vocational Learning for Sustainable Catering Systems (VoLCS).
The main aim of this project is to establish a system of cooperation between
the different partners involved in catering for the public sector, so that they
can learn from each other and create universal tools of best practice. This can
be applied to make vocational training as relevant as possible for the catering
staff, including such elements as nutrition and sustainability and the job
market. It is important to develop the link between vocational training that is
available and the actual reality of the work environment and the European job
market. By listening to personnel and incorporating the best practices from the
partner countries, a stronger connection will be made between the skills that
are needed in the workplace and the skills that are available in vocational
Target group project partner, educators and policy makers
Despite the fact that the cities are very different, there are a number of
similarities between the partners. Basic cooking skills are important for all
those involved in kitchens, although formal cooking qualifications are not
always required. Health and hygiene are important, they are in fact almost seen
as more important than cooking skills. Quality control measures in place are
Lack of training required in nurseries
Despite the fact that cooks are providing food for thousands of pre-school
children, there are no formal requirements for cooks to have any cooking
ability when they are employed. In most of the countries it is enough that they
have had basic training in hygiene regulations for the handling and preparing of
food. This does not mean though that the cooks lack passion or commitment
to the task. In discussion it was agreed that there are many cooks who have
great passion, but need support to develop self esteem and gain confidence in
There was little quality control in nurseries compared to schools. Quality
control for nursery food was found in Rome, where they have a developed
system of quality control for public sector catering. In schools in Malmö, there
is no specific quality control carried out on a daily basis, but food inspectors do
check school kitchens on a regular basis and cooks have to follow routines in
hygiene and food safety.
Nurseries vs schools
It was found that the meals system was more organized and legislated in
schools. This can be that nurseries are not compulsory in any of the countries,
and provided as a child care option for parents wishing to return to work
before the children start school. This also means that nurseries can be more
flexible and allow cooks to develop their own personality in the kitchen, as we
have seen in Malmö where there are cooks who bake their own bread, dry their
own herbs and invite children into the kitchen to help.
10 │ Vocational Learning for Sustainable Catering Systems (VoLCS) │
Need for continous training
It was agreed that any intiative to promote the competence of catering staff has
to be continous. If individuals are “lifted up” they must not be left to “ fall
down” but must continue to be lifted and develop their skills and confidence.
It is however admitted that this can create a problem as skilled cooks demand
better wages and conditions, which is good, but can be a disadvantage for a
municipalilty who wishes to employ them.
Area of application Has been used by project partners in project, has also been made available to other educators and policy makers with interest in this area.
Product Languages English