Limerick chef and hotel named apprenticeship 'Employer of the Year'

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Limerick chef and hotel named apprenticeship 'Employer of the Year'

Executive Chef, Tom Flavin, with Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh Transition Year student, Fionn Kennedy, as part of the recent Junior Chef ‘Apprenticeship Taster’ course | PICTURE: Brian Arthur

Executive Chef, Tom Flavin, and the Limerick Strand Hotel have been announced as a 2020 Generation Apprenticeship ‘Employer of the Year’

The Limerick Strand Hotel was nominated by the Hospitality Education and Training Centre, run by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.

The competition captured the best of employers currently undertaking apprenticeship programmes across a wide range of occupations from electrical, construction and engineering roles to healthcare, hospitality and financial services.

“These winning employers demonstrate all that is good about apprenticeship and the key part it is going to play in Ireland’s recovery and our country’s future," said Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris who announced the winners.

Tom Flavin was nominated by Bernadette Enright, Centre Manager of the Hospitality Education and Training Centre. “Tom believes that the apprenticeship programme of structured education and training combining learning in the workplace with learning in an education and training institution offers the best possible outcome for next generation chefs, as chefs are supported to ‘earn and learn’. Tom was the first to lead and promote that industry pay apprentices to attend further education and training or college. He supported the programme by encouraging chefs and employers that they must invest in continuous training," said said.

Since joining the Strand Hotel, Tom has built a team of 30 chefs who all have training plans and a plan with routes into the different divisions of a kitchen. Since the Hospitality Education and Training Centre in Limerick opened, he has taken trainees from Level 4 on traineeship programmes, before the Commis Chef L6 Apprenticeship programme was launched. He has also been an ambassador in promoting the apprenticeship.

Tom is an advocate for local produce and was nominated by Fáilte Ireland as a Food Champion. In 2019 Tom won both the ‘Local Food Hero’ Award and his restaurant The River Restaurant won the Best Hotel and Guesthouse Award Category.