Chef ranked No. 1 on the list of current skills shortage occupations in the Cessnock Skills Audit with 16 responses, Chef is also listed on the NSW Skills Shortage List maintained by The Department of Jobs and Small Business.[1]

Most Chefs in Australia complete an apprenticeship, including a minimum of Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (SIT30816).

According to The Department of Jobs and Small Business, Shortages of chefs are evident across New South Wales, with nearly two thirds of vacancies remaining unfilled and employers considering few applicants to be suitable.[2]

Further, a NSW survey completed in 2017 revealed that:

  • There were on average, 3.3 applications per vacancy
  • Around half of applicants were qualified Chefs
  • Employers considered that on average, .5 applicants per vacancy were suitable
  • Nearly all employers sought qualified chefs with several years of industry experience (vacancies for head chef, sous chef and chef de partie/demi chef positions were surveyed)
  • Nearly all employers (91 per cent) required the successful applicant to have completed an apprenticeship and hold a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
  • A small number of employers were willing to compromise and consider an unqualified but experienced applicant
  • Around a fifth of employers surveyed, following an unsuccessful recruitment exercise, either undertook overseas sponsorship, compromised and recruited an apprentice or headhunted a chef from another business in order to fill their vacancy


Ongoing tourism and population growth and a robust outlook for the economy indicate that demand for chefs is likely to continue growing.  Together with decreasing training commencements and completions suggests, that at least in the short-terms, shortages will continue for this occupation.[3]

Qualifications required

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery


[1] National State and Territory Skill Shortage Information

[2] ANZSCO Chef NSW (docx download)

[3] Chef NSW (docx download)

The Cessnock City Jobs Portal has been jointly funded by the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund – Community Projects Stream, and Cessnock City Council.

The Cessnock City jobs portal has been jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Cessnock City Council.