The Restaurants Association of Ireland said it had been seeking State support for the scheme since April, without success.
“State bodies and agencies like FÁS, Skillnets, and Fáilte Ireland don’t understand the crisis we’re facing into, and the shortage of chefs is having a devastating effect on restaurants trying to cope in the recession,” said Adrian Cummins, chief executive.
“We want to be able to market Ireland as a centre of food excellence, a true culinary experience with world-class chefs leading the way. Instead, we are finding ourselves in a position where we have to recruit chefs from abroad when there are thousands of Irish people on the live register.”
He was launching RAI’s 10-point plan to protect existing employment, create jobs, and ensure the growth of the sector.
The association called for the Vat rate on wine of 9% to be retained to the end of 2014 to ensure continued job growth in tourism.
“Tourists and Irish consumers compare Irish prices with those in other tourist destinations such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and France, where there is no duty on wine.”