There is increasing concern about the challenging working conditions experienced by trainee chefs, and their high rates of early stage training attrition. Despite this, little research has examined trainees' initial workplace experiences or strategies to address their wellbeing. This study explored young chefs' experiences of work-related stress, working conditions, coping and resilience. Nine focus groups comprising 69 participants in total were conducted with second year trainee chefs from two Technical and Further Education (TAFE) colleges in New South Wales. Results were subjected to thematic analysis. Stressors, including long hours, low pay and bullying, were described as ubiquitous within commercial cookery. Less ambitious trainees and those without prior knowledge of industry working conditions were perceived to be more vulnerable to attrition and/or psychological injury. A typology was identified from emergent themes, and trainees categorised according to their level of resilience. Results provide a framework for early intervention strategies to improve young workers' wellbeing.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Health, Safety and Environment
|Published - 2014