The City of Liverpool College has partnered with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) order to deliver 16 chef apprenticeships annually.
The agreement will provide 16- to 19-year-old students the opportunity receive formal training, practical work, culinary theory and assessments from the City of Liverpool College, while working alongside top professionals.
All trainees will sit the final RACA exam on completion of the three-year course. Those successful will be awarded the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Diploma and become graduates of the RACA.
The City of Liverpool College is the third college outside of London to work with the academy, and the partnership is the first of its kind in the north of England.
Paul Askew, chef patron of the Art School restaurant, Liverpool and a member of the RACA, helped to secure the deal in order to retain chefs in the region and keep them from moving south. "It's really important to the get the qualification here," he said. "It helps the new up and coming chefs of this region achieve a level of qualification not available in the north before, and it's hoped will go some way in breaking the cycle of skills drain to the south east.
"Those who achieve this qualification will be the restauranteurs of the future so the true significance of this should be felt for many years to come."
The apprentices, who start the course in September 2016, will start paid employment under the guidance of senior chefs in January 2017. They are expected to achieve NVQ Level Two in Professional Cookery by January 2018 and will complete the apprenticeship with a Level Three in July 2019.
Elaine Bowker, principle and chief executive of the City of Liverpool College, said: "To be chosen by the Royal Academy is an honour not just for the college but for the city as a whole. It's recognition of the quality of our teaching and the quality of our partners such as Paul Askew.
"It's also recognition of the great strides the city has made as a centre for culinary excellence and the importance of this sector to the wider economy in driving both leisure and business visitors and in encouraging talented people to live and work here."
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