Ships’ cooks have a unique role on board a vessel and it is widely known that a well fed crew is essential to the effective running of a ship. Ensuring every ship has a properly trained and experienced cook on board is vital. To support both employers and ships’ cooks, the International Chamber of Shipping has produced a brand new record book to enable ships’ cooks to track their career progression and communicate their expertise and experience to employers and colleagues. This is the first global resource to help cooks on board demonstrate competency and record their training and experience as they develop their careers at sea.
The new Training Record Book for Ships’ Cooks can be used by an individual to demonstrate that they have followed a structured training programme and have an understanding of the core competencies required to safely prepare nutritious and appropriate food during a voyage. It will also act as a record of their experience and career progression and can be used at any level and in any country, both on board and at maritime catering academies.
The new record book has been written based on the competence requirements of the ILO Guidelines on the training of ships’ cooks, enabling evidence of competency to be recorded in all key areas identified by the ILO. It covers both practical and safety skills such as specific cooking techniques and dealing with allergies and food intolerances.
Natalie Shaw, Director of Employment Affairs for the International Chamber of Shipping says: “Seafarers live and work on board ship and mealtimes serve to influence attitudes regarding long periods at sea. Ships’ cooks are essential to the efficient and safe running of any vessel. It is difficult to overestimate how important food and nutrition are to seafarers. Not only does good food enable the seafarer to perform duties effectively, it is also crucial to maintaining the health and morale of crews.
“Indeed the quality of food on board is so essential to crew welfare that it is documented in the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), which recognises how important it is to have and serve sufficient food and drinking water of appropriate quality on board by qualified and trained catering personnel.”