Free Prep Cook training coming to Campbell River

NIC culinary instructor Chef Xavier Bauby conducts a demonstration in the teaching kitchen in Campbell River. NIC’s Prep Cook program will run at the Campbell River campus this February.

NIC’s popular Prep Cook program is returning to Campbell River this February, tuition-free for qualified applicants.

The full-time certificate program provides students with essential workplace skills, safety knowledge and job readiness.

Comox restaurant owner Blythe Reimer of Tidal Café is eager for more students to graduate from the program and start their career in the food service industry.

“Due to the pandemic, people are leaving for other industries and kitchen staff candidates are fewer and far between,” said Reimer. "We usually have a lot of people applying to work for us as we have a good reputation for the way we treat our employees and the way we connect in the community. This is the first time we’ve had little to no response from our job postings.”    

Students will gain valuable work experience in local restaurants, while completing industry certifications in Occupational First Aid, FOODSAFE, and WHMIS and learn how to prepare restaurant quality soups, salads, sauces, and baked goods. 

“If you are interested in working as an entry-level prep cook or enrolling in NIC’s Culinary Arts program this is where you start,” said Cheryl O’Connell, NIC’s dean of trades and technical programs. “You get valuable work experience, real skills and all the certifications you need to begin working – and it’s all tuition free for eligible students. My thanks to the organizations who made this opportunity possible for students.”

The Prep Cook program is usually valued at $7,500, which includes industry certificates, student materials, and resources.

However, funding is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement.

The short 14-week program begins Feb. 28, 2022 in Campbell River’s modern teaching kitchens. Students are encouraged to get their applications in soon to secure their seat.

For more information, on funding eligibility or to apply, visit