The cooking-immigration nexus

There has been a meteoric rise in enrolments of overseas students in cooking courses in Australia from around 1019 in 2004 to 8242 in 2008. All are trained in full-time courses conducted mainly by private providers—rather than via the apprenticeship system as is the case for Australian-trained cooks. Most of the overseas students who have finished these courses have subsequently gained permanent residence as cooks. Cooking is now the second largest occupation, behind accounting among those gaining permanent entry visas under the onshore former overseas student visa subcategories. This article examines the rules governing the training and subsequent visaing of these cooks. It concludes that there are serious gaps in the rules governing their training and the assessment of their competency. In large part because of these deficiencies, only a minority obtain employment in Australia as trade level cooks. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s