Restaurateurs are facing an ‘unprecedented Curry Crisis’ due to a tightening of immigration laws. Throughout the country, Indian restaurateurs say they are struggling with a staffing crisis, as they are finding it difficult to find skilled chefs.
Previously the laws on immigration allowed many restaurants to bring in trained chefs from the sub-continent to fill vacancies.
Bradford College is coming to the rescue by plugging the gap with a range of innovative new courses available through their new International Food Academy. The specialist qualification in Asian and International cuisine is available in a range of qualifications – ranging from Apprenticeships, to Degree programmes.
Demand for courses is extremely high, with students across the globe vying for a place at the world class Academy. The curry chefs of the future will be trained by local chefs that have built up an international reputation for excellence.
Over 100 students are also jetting in from abroad to be trained at the Academy, following its world renowned association with food excellence.
Bradford College is working in partnership with OK’s Academy to create internationally acclaimed courses.
Commenting on the success of the Academy, Managing Director and award winning Chef Mr Omar Khan said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Bradford College to deliver a range of industry recognised programmes for the chefs of the future.” Mr Khan is the founder of OK’s Academy, and the man behind a string of community focused initiatives designed to remove barriers to employment. Through Mr Khan’s OK’s Academy young people and vulnerable groups are engaged, inspired and motivated to go on to enjoy successful careers in the catering and hospitality industry.
MP Mr Gerry Sutcliffe and joint Chairman of OK’s Academy commenting on the Academy said: “The International Food Academy is a step in the right direction for the Hospitality and Catering industry, offering a practical solution to the skilled labour shortage problem, especially curry chefs. This is a unique opportunity to build capacity for training in the UK whilst also creating strong partnerships with businesses. The Academy model and apprenticeship scheme will boost the UK economy and is a positive step, with tangible results that can be delivered.”
To celebrate the success of the Academy a special launch event took place on Friday May 6th where live theatre was created when acclaimed Chefs from Bradford-based Restaurants Omar Khan’s Akbars, Nawaab, Mumtaz, Aagrah and Prashad joined the team at the International Food Academy to prepare and cook signature dishes featured in their award winning restaurants.
Prashad reached the final of Gordon Ramsay’s hit Channel 4 TV series ‘Ramsay's Best Restaurant’ beating off stiff competition from more than 12,000 eateries nationwide to win the hearts and minds of the nation with their infectious enthusiasm for vegetarian cuisine. Gordon travelled the country searching for exceptional restaurants and described the food at Prashad as ‘Extraordinary’ and ‘The best vegetarian cuisine he had ever had’.
During the special launch event, distinguished guests also included MP Mr Gerry Sutcliffe, Labour MP for Bradford South and former Leader of Bradford Council.
Speaking at the prestigious launch, Principal and Chief Executive, Michele Sutton, OBE said: “It’s a great pleasure to attend the launch of the International Food Academy at Bradford College. The Academy has been established to work very closely with catering employers, restaurateurs and food production companies to train young people and adults to work in this growing industry.” Principal Michele Sutton added. “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with the catering industry to develop the workforce of the future!”
Head of the International Food Academy, Graham Fleming concluded: “I think it’s an absolute superb opportunity for Bradford to shine – it puts Bradford on the map, because we’re going to service the needs of the industry. Hopefully we will spread good practise across the country – emanating out from Bradford. Recently there have been a number of restaurant chains that began in Bradford and have now become national chains - we want to mirror that success with the launch of the Academy – helping to create award winning chefs of the future!”