October 03, 2012
Unilever Food Solutions to roll out industry-first Health & Nutrition Training Programme to support qualification
Unilever Food Solutions has launched an industry-first health and nutrition training programme to help lecturers raise awareness and improve catering students’ knowledge of nutrition in the workplace.
The interactive programme – called ‘Understanding Nutrition in Commercial Kitchens’ – which will help chefs better understand nutrition and the use of convenience ingredients in the professional kitchen, was developed with the hospitality industry’s sector skills council People 1st. It complements a new ‘Principles of nutrition in food production environments’ unit that will be added to the Qualification Credits Framework in October.
Tracey Rogers, managing director of Unilever Food Solutions, says: “We want to empower chefs of the future to recognise the influence they can have over their customers’ health. Times are changing, as are consumer needs, so we want to ensure we’re equipping young chefs with the right knowledge and skill set for when they enter the workplace.”
To be delivered by expert lecturers, the one-day training programme is made up of seven sessions, including the building blocks of nutrition, catering for special diets and retaining nutritional content when cooking. All students that successfully complete the programme will receive a formal qualification through vocational educational organisation City & Guilds.
To celebrate the launch, the first 60 lecturers to book their place on the training programme, will have their fee paid for by Unilever Food Solutions. In addition to this, the first 500 students to be taught the content will receive a free workbook to guide them through the course and their certificate paid for.
Eighteen months in the making, Unilever Food Solutions’ health and nutrition training programme and qualification began in 2011 when the business worked with the Professional Association of Catering Education (PACE) to understand lecturers’ views on nutrition. Since then, it’s worked closely with PACE, and other associations, to develop the programme.
Geoff Booth, CEO of PACE, said: “The fundamental knowledge of how nutrition impacts on a commercial kitchen has been missing from the education network. We need to ensure chefs are trained to handle the challenges of the 21st century food industry and match the content of our programmes to these specific needs. It’s great to see that company’s like Unilever Food Solutions are taking the lead and helping develop the next generation of chefs to meet the demands of the workplace.”