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What do Pilots and Chefs have in Common?

We constantly analyse international skills shortages for recurring patterns and were drawn to the unlikely parallels between Pilots and Chefs.















They both have to:

  • Work under intense pressure.
  • Work long hours, sometimes without a break.
  • Be able to think on their feet.
  • Be problems solvers.
  • Have many years of experience at the top of their qualification before they are fully rewarded.
  • Work their way up through the ranks/grades of the profession.
  • Be generally worth more once they have undertaken a variety of work.
  • Must be able to lead a small team with respect, trust and confidence.
  • Be able to work in a confined space with a group of sometimes very different people.
  • Spend long hours/days away from their homes and families.
  • Be passionate about their work to survive it.
  • Have a skill which can be used internationally.
  • Be recognised as a vocation, not a profession.

Both vocations are critical skills shortage in various parts of the world.


Attracting young people to enter either of these professions is now almost impossible, but for very different reasons.

For Chefs it’s the hours, culture of the workplace and antisocial nature of the work that generally does it. Also pay is very low to start with but at the higher end of the profession can pay extremely well. Internationally experienced Chefs are always in demand but it often means changing jobs frequently in order to climb the greasy pole of success.

For pilots the once held status has now gone. Youngsters preferring to fly IT desks in a comfortable office environment to taking on the challenges that come with aviation. The pay is also low when starting out and all student pilots must self fund their training. This is very expensive, costing somewhere in the vicinity of $100,000 just to get started. Then there is the 1500 Total Flying hours required to be even considered for employment in the industry as a First Officer in any airline large or small let alone aircraft type ratings to be obtained as well. Is it any wonder our young people are seeing this as out of reach particularly when government education student loan schemes don’t even recognise Piloting as worthy of funding.

So, the inevitable is happening. We are short of both Pilots and Chefs and it will get worse before it gets better but there is good news round the corner for both Chefs and Pilots targeting Australia. If you want to be informed of these new developments then you need to register your CV at and create a personal profile explaining your personal objectives.

Of course we welcome registrations from experienced Chefs and Pilots as we have open position not just in Australia but also in Asia, including China and Middle East demand is picking up as well.


Author: Chris Slay

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