President of SCA Joseph Lam says the aim of the project is to create employment through cookery.
“We have put these kids through 12 weeks of hands-on training like an apprenticeship and work placement. Then our job as the Samoa Culinary Association is not only training them, but offering jobs,” Lam said.
He said there are hotels opening and there are not enough workers.
“So it’s a way to really help out with the industry in a way that most of these students are already employed by our members in the association,” he added.
The chefs are sent to hotels and restaurants in the network after they have received their training.
“We’re basically the training ground, we train them, they get better and we move them on. It’s not good to hold on to them because most of us already have a full staff. But what we can do is teach them and then push them out to the industry to create more jobs,” he said.
“If anyone is interested they can contact me through Tanoa Hotel or through our Facebook, and we can train them and get them a chance for a job,” he said.
Chief guest at the graduation, UNDP Representative Lizbeth Cullity acknowledged everyone for their work.
“Tonight (Monday) all I can say is thank for what you are doing, to the SCA and Joe and the team, these are the actions that need be taken especially in our journey to reach our Sustainable Development Goals. It makes me proud to say that this is a successful project,” she said.
The 12-week training was hosted by various kitchens in Samoa on both Upolu and Savaii as well as experts of APTC.
The twelve graduates of the first programme have reached the first phase of their journeys.
Lam says they will now be sent to hotels and restaurants.