A new training program will help immigrants prepare for work in the restaurant industry and offer residents of St. John’s area a new multiethnic food experience.
Cook to Connect is a project of the Association for New Canadians in collaboration with the St. John’s Farmers’ Market, with funding from Future Skills Centre’s Shock-proofing the Future of Work initiative. Over the next two years, three classes of immigrant students will each complete six months of hands-on culinary skills training and industry-specific English language training, followed by six months of work in a cloud kitchen offering catering services and food delivery. The first students will graduate the program next March.
“The ANC is very pleased to have been selected under the Future Skills Centre’s Shock-proofing initiative to deliver this cloud training and catering program,” said ANC Executive Director Megan Morris. “2020 was a difficult year for many and it is through innovative initiatives such as Cook to Connect that we can support immigrants in bringing their skills, talent and knowledge to the NL labour market.”
The program will be based at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market’s community kitchen on Freshwater Road.
“The St. John’s Farmers’ Market is thrilled to be working with the ANC on this project,” said Pam Anstey, SJFM Executive Director. “Diversity is one of our core values and we are happy to do anything we can to enhance multiculturalism in St. John’s.”
Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, says that fostering the transition of newcomers into the workplace while teaching valuable culinary skills and providing employment supports is a perfect example of FSC’s investment in building an inclusive workforce for the future. “The Cook to Connect project offers newcomers to Canada the opportunity to develop or hone their skills and gain experience that helps them to adjust to and thrive in the operation of a food business. This is just one of the exciting shock-proofing projects that FSC is investing in to build a future playbook for shared prosperity, and help Canadian workers and businesses seize opportunities in our future economy.”
Cook to Connect is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.
Permanent residents interested in joining the training program should e-mail Amr Alagouza.