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Overview

This page provides information and data on Cookery, which is one component of the Tourism and Hospitality industry.

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) categorises the Hospitality industry as encompassing businesses that provide accommodation, food and beverages such as cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services; pubs, taverns and bars; hotels, motels and other accommodation and hospitality clubs. Environments for the Cooking sector range from fine dining restaurants and clubs to catering to mining sites and other mass operations. Cookery occupations can include the following:

  • Bakers and Pastry cooks
  • Chefs
  • Cooks
  • Fast Food Cooks
  • Food Trades Assistants
  • Kitchenhands.

Nationally recognised training for Cookery occupations is delivered under the SIT -Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package.

For more information on Events, Hospitality, and Tourism occupations and industry sectors, please visit the respective pages. 

Information is sourced from the most recently available Skills Forecast, the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

 

IRC and skills forecast

The Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC was not required to submit an annual update to their 2019 Skills Forecast during 2020. As such, the version published in 2019 remains the most recently published Skills Forecast for this industry.

Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Industry Reference Committee

Employment trends

Please note: any employment projections outlined below were calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics prior to COVID-19.

Employment Snapshot

Employment levels in the Food and Beverage Services industry declined significantly between 2019 and 2020, with the Pubs, Taverns and Bars, and Clubs (Hospitality) sectors recording the lowest employment levels since reporting began in 2000, at 48,500 and 32,300 respectively. A notable decline was also recorded for the Cafes, Restaurants and Takeaway Food sector, from 635,600 in 2019 to 498,200 in 2020. Employment levels across these sectors are projected to grow by 2024.

Employment levels have declined in 2020 for all occupations apart from Cooks which has remained relatively stable between 2019 and 2020. Increases in employment levels between 2020 and 2024 are predicted for all occupations, although the increase for Food Trades Assistant is expected to be relatively minor.

Within Cafes and Restaurants, the highest proportion of people were employed as Waiters (25%), Chefs (15%), and Café and Restaurant Managers (14%). Growth is predicted across all occupations within the Cafés and Restaurants industry between 2019 and 2024, with Café Workers and Chefs expecting the most significant increases (at 19% and 16% respectively).

In the Takeaway Food Services sector, Sales Assistants (General) had the highest proportion of employment (32%), but employment growth is projected to be modest to 2024 (at 5%). Kitchenhands and Fast Food Cooks each make up around 15% of this sector and employment in both of these occupations is projected to grow by about 10% to 2024. In the Catering Services sector, Kitchenhands also make up the largest share of the sector (21%).

All of the main occupations within the Accommodation sector are expected to grow by 10% or more between 2019 and 2024. Bar Attendants and Baristas have the highest proportion of employment in the Pubs, Taverns and Bars industry at 30%, as well as in the Clubs sector (24%), and employment in this occupation is expected to grow by more than 10% in both industries between 2019 and 2024.

Training trends

Training snapshot

In 2019, there were approximately 69,420 program enrolments in cookery-related qualifications, along with close to 18,070 program completions. After a decrease between 2017 and 2018, commencements have increased in 2019, up from roughly 64,370 in 2018. Completions have continued their downwards trend after a peak of almost 24,600 in 2017.

Around 42% of enrolments were at the certificate III level, followed by certificate II (34%) and certificate IV (23%) level. More than half (59%) of program enrolments were in commercial cookery qualifications with the intended occupations of Cook and Chef. A further 34% of program enrolments were in kitchen operations with the sole intended occupation of Kitchenhand.   

Private training providers delivered close to half (49%) of training overall, followed by TAFE institutes (34%) and schools (13%). This varied between qualifications with schools delivering a much higher proportion of training for kitchen operations (38%), while private training providers were higher for commercial cookery (68%).  

More than half (54%) of all training was funded through international fee for service, which was notably higher for private training providers (76%). Overall, around 39% of training was Commonwealth and state funded, with some variation between training providers, including schools and TAFE institutes which had higher proportion of Commonwealth and state funding, at 97% and 65% respectively.

More than 40% of students resided overseas, with Victoria (24%) and New South Wales (19%) making up a large portion of the remaining. Most training was delivered in either Victoria (43%), New South Wales (26%) or Queensland (13%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements have declined overall, from approximately 7,060 in 2010 to 3,860 in 2019, with a peak of close to 7,710 in 2013. Completions followed a similar pattern, with around 2,700 completions in 2010, peaking at around 3,490 in 2014 then decreasing to roughly 2,000 in 2019. The majority of apprenticeships and traineeships are training in commercial cookery with most having the intended occupation of Cook. Close to three quarters of apprenticeships and traineeships were reported by either New South Wales (30%), Victoria (25%) or Queensland (21%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, please sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast the top priority skills in the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality industry (inclusive of the Cookery sector) are:

  • Teamwork and communication
  • Problem solving
  • Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
  • Self-management.

The importance of communication is supported by findings from the job vacancy data, which shows that communication skills is the top generic skill in demand. According to job advertisements, the top two occupations in demand are Waiters and Baristas, with Compass Group PLC, Burger King and Spotless Group the top employers.

The Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast highlighted that consumer trends around increasing health consciousness, as well as busier and time poor lifestyles having a positive impact on the demand for eating out and ordering ready-made meals. This was supported by annual revenue growth figures of just under 2% between 2014 and 2019 for restaurants in Australia. Other venues such as pubs, bars and nightclubs, as well as cafes and coffee shops have also experienced similar growth.

The Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast also identified the evolution of social media and online platforms through technological advancements as significant influencers in shaping the sector. Online platforms like UberEATS and Menulog have transformed the way business is being done, with online food ordering and delivery enabling restaurants access to a larger customer base. In addition, social media is also transforming the sector with trends like ‘foodstagramming’, where more than 1 in 5 Instagram users are posting a photograph of their food. Online reviews and commentary have also become commonplace with regards to how decisions are made about dining, food and beverage choices.

The report Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce found that in the Accommodation and Food Services industry, approximately 222,000 people will find their roles at risk of automation over the next 15 years, with 57% of those impacted being female. This report also suggests the role most susceptible to automation in this industry is a Fast Food Cook.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2020, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • Employment projections to May 2024, by ANZSIC 3 digit industries:
    • 451 Cafes, Restaurants and Takeaway Food Services
    • 452 Pubs, Taverns and Bars
    • 453 Clubs (Hospitality).
  • Employment projections to May 2024, by selected ANZSCO occupations, including, but not limited to:
    • 3511 Bakers and Pastrycooks
    • 3513 Chefs
    • 3514 Cooks
    • 8511 Fast Food Cooks
    • 8512 Food Trades Assistants
    • 8513 Kitchenhands.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 August 2020 https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202020?OpenDocument

  • Employed total, 2000 to 2020, May quarter, by ANZSIC 3 digit industries:
    • 451 Cafes, Restaurants and Takeaway Food Services
    • 452 Pubs, Taverns and Bars
    • 453 Clubs (Hospitality).

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 August 2020 https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202020?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupations:
    • 3511 Bakers and Pastrycooks
    • 3513 Chefs
    • 3514 Cooks
    • 8511 Fast Food Cooks
    • 8512 Food Trades Assistants
    • 8513 Kitchenhands.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by:
    • 451 Cafes, Restaurants and Takeaway Food Services
    • 452 Pubs, Taverns and Bars
    • 453 Clubs (Hospitality)

to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Student and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package
  • Asian Cookery
    • SIT20407 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)
    • SIT20412 - Certificate II in Asian Cookery
    • SIT30907 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)
    • SIT30912 - Certificate III in Asian Cookery
    • SIT30913 - Certificate III in Asian Cookery
    • SIT31116 - Certificate III in Asian Cookery
    • SIT40507 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)
    • SIT40512 - Certificate IV in Asian Cookery
    • SIT40513 - Certificate IV in Asian Cookery
    • SIT40816 - Certificate IV in Asian Cookery
    • THH21702 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)
    • THH21797 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)
    • THH32097 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery - Chinese)
    • THH32197 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery - Thai)
    • THH32297 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery - Indian)
    • THH32497 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery - Malay and Nonya)
    • THH32597 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery - Japanese)
    • THH32697 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery - Vietnamese)
    • THH33102 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)
    • THH41897 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Asian Cookery - Indian).
  • Catering
    • SIT30916 - Certificate III in Catering Operations
    • SIT31007 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)
    • SIT31012 - Certificate III in Catering Operations
    • SIT31013 - Certificate III in Catering Operations
    • SIT40607 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Catering Operations)
    • SIT40612 - Certificate IV in Catering Operations
    • SIT40613 - Certificate IV in Catering Operations
    • THH21997 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Catering Operations)
    • THH32902 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)
    • THH32997 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)
    • THH42597 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Catering Operations).
  • Commercial Cookery
    • SIT30807 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
    • SIT30812 - Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
    • SIT30813 - Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
    • SIT30816 - Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
    • SIT40407 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
    • SIT40412 - Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
    • SIT40413 - Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
    • SIT40516 - Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
    • THH31502 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
    • THH21297 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
    • THH31597 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
    • THH41302 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
    • THH41397 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery).
  • Commercial Cookery
    • SIT10307 - Certificate I in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations)
    • SIT20307 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations)
    • SIT20312 - Certificate II in Kitchen Operations
    • SIT20416 - Certificate II in Kitchen Operations
    • THH22002 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations)
    • THH11197 - Certificate I in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations).
  • Patisserie
    • THH41497 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Patisserie)
    • SIT31016 - Certificate III in Patisserie
    • SIT31107 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Patisserie)
    • SIT31112 - Certificate III in Patisserie
    • SIT31113 - Certificate III in Patisserie
    • SIT40707 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Patisserie)
    • SIT40712 - Certificate IV in Patisserie
    • SIT40713 - Certificate IV in Patisserie
    • SIT40716 - Certificate IV in Patisserie.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015 to 2019 program enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 subject enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2019 commencements
  • 2010 to 2019 completions
  • 2019 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2019 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2020, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2020, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2017 and June 2020 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills/Occupations
    • Managers, Technicians and Trades Workers, Community and Personal Service Workers, and Labourers
    • 45 Food and Beverage Services.
  • Employers
    • 431511 Waiter
    • 431112 Barista
    • 141111 Cafe or Restaurant Manager
    • 851299 Food Trades Assistants nec
    • 351311 Chef
    • 45 Food and Beverage Services.
Updated: 23 Nov 2020
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