In an ideal world, students should already have the ability to cook meals from scratch by the time they reach university – and they ought to be thinking of new ways to get creative in the kitchen long before graduation looms. Despite this, it has been revealed that a number of students in the UK currently lack basic cooking skills.
Some students are unable to fathom even the simplest of tasks, such as boiling an egg. According to a recent study, 5 per cent of young adults admitted they’d tried to cook egg and soldiers by using a microwave - with explosive results – and a further 13 per cent confessed that they had tried to boil an egg in their kettle!
Unsurprisingly, the study (organised by Poundland) also found that 37 per cent of the 2,000 people they surveyed affirmed that they couldn’t bake a cake. In addition to these food related revelations, it transpired that 1 in 3 millennials also struggle with basic household tasks.
As far as life skills go, it is thought that the older generation were far more competent back when they were teenagers themselves. Most had accumulated basic domestic skills long before they’d reached the ‘millennial’ age bracket in which we now categorise today’s students. In contrast, it seems that the younger generation still have a lot to learn.
Back in 2005, as part of his ‘school dinners’ campaign, Jamie Oliver urged the government to make cooking skills compulsory for both primary and secondary school students. Sadly this idea took quite a while to materialise, it wasn’t until 2015 that a new GCSE ‘Food preparation and nutrition’ was eventually put in place – to be taught in 2016. By this time a whole generation of would-be foodies had already missed out, hence the skills gap.
At the very least, students of all ages should pay attention to the recommended guidelines for a healthy diet, bear in mind essential food safety and hygiene principles, then equip themselves with sensible, cost-effective and practical knowledge which will actually prove useful in their daily lives.
Virtual College have partnered with The 60 Second Chef to bring out a range of bitesize digital cooking courses, perfect for students or beginners. Why not check them out here.