The JOEY Restaurant Group has just been named a top employer for young people in Canada for 2016.
The evaluation process included an extensive review by Canada’s Top 100 Employers based on attraction and retention of younger workers.
JOEY Restaurants earned the recognition based on the organization’s availability of co-op or work-study programs, mentorship and training opportunities, appreciation and recognition for those who complete courses and professional designation as well as its career management programs.
JOEY has partnered with Royal Roads University to deliver professional and graduate certificate programs to our managers.
These business and leadership courses are fully funded by JOEY for anyone in a management position. Courses in these programs range from in person one day workshops on risk management to six week online courses on difficult conversations. With the completion of the graduate certificate, individuals can choose to apply these credits towards a master’s degree program at Royal Roads University on their own.
“We are so honoured to be recognized for our development and apprenticeship programs,” said Andrew Martin, JOEY vice-president of human resources,” it is important to us to not just create job opportunities but actual career paths where our individuals can grow with JOEY, develop their skills, get an education, receive certification all while still earning a wage. We feel strongly that young people should not have to choose between an income and personal development. At JOEY they are one in the same and we stand behind our people.”
This has become an increasingly more important issue across Canada with recent studies illustrating the demands and shortages in the hospitality and tourism industries.
A recent survey by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission highlighted a shortage of labour in the region’s tourism sector. Roughly 74 per cent of businesses in the Central Okanagan’s tourism industry face challenges retaining and recruiting quality employees.
British Columbia isn’t the only province affected by these shortages. A 2012 report by the Canadian Tourism Research Institute and the Conference Board of Canada predicts a severe skills shortage in Ontario, with the most significant shortages in the food and beverage services sector.
“A part of the magic we have here at JOEY is our partnerships with local post-secondary institutions in every community we operate in,” said Martin, “We work closely with their culinary and business management programs so we are setting young people up for success. Whether they complete school knowing they want a career in hospitality or realize it at the prep station we ensure they receive the education and certification to be successful.”
JOEY has partnered with culinary schools and education programs in each of the regions we operate in offering scholarships and bursaries to providing ongoing support for student careers.
Enrolled apprentices attend culinary school for a period of six weeks where they learn the necessary skills to work in the industry, and then another six weeks in the restaurant applying the techniques that they learned.
JOEY provides tuition reimbursement to the apprentices and the practice time they need to succeed, through weekly culinary clubs and one on one coaching. The culinary clubs allow our partners to perfect the skills they learned by participating in culinary competitions, quick fire and black box challenges to drive the development of culinary skills and learn about dishes and cuisines that JOEY does not offer on our menu. The chefs organize field trips to our suppliers to learn about the origin of our ingredients and how to prepare them.
In Kelowna, JOEY works with Okanagan College to ensure those students graduating have career opportunities once they complete their education.
It is clear from these shortages that there will be a demand for those entering the restaurant industry. Recent government statistics say B.C. alone expects 13,600 job openings for cooks from now until 2022.