The International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai (ICCA Dubai) held a graduation ceremony on 12 May to celebrate the 24 chefs who successfully completed its Culinary Scholarship Programme.
The students completed the ICCA Dubai – International Chef Training Program, a City & Guilds London accredited IVQ level 2 qualification, along with other industry skills proficiency training over a 52-week day release programme.
The scholarship, offered as part of a AED 1 million continuing education award, was launched by ICCA Dubai in 2014 and is run in collaboration with Emirates Culinary Guild (ECG), Worldchefs and the City & Guilds London.
Sunjeh Raja, director & CEO, ICCA Dubai, said: “Today, ICCA Dubai has successfully achieved and accomplished its purpose to give the very best to both the industry and its talent. I am proud of our graduates and very delighted to honour their achievement today.
“The AED 1 million dirham continuing education award was set up with an aim of providing everyone with an equal opportunity to achieve their dreams and not to be limited by their means while boosting the industry with fresh, skilled resources taking the industry development to the next level ahead of the Dubai Expo 2020.
“I would like to thank the industry members and strategic partners for their support in helping achieve this vision, highlighting the fact that together we can make lives happen.”
During the 52 week programme, prominent chefs and industry experts regularly conducted training sessions, imparting skills and knowledge aligned to industry needs.
The graduates are eligible for WACS Certified Professional Cook, under the Worldchefs Global Certification Scheme.
Dr. Abdullah Al Karam, chairman, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) presented qualification certificates to the chefs.
He was accompanied on stage by Dr. Naji Almahdi, chief, qualifications & awards, Dubai and Mohammed Abdullah, managing director, Dubai Knowledge Park, chef Uwe Micheel, chairman ECG & Young Chefs Development Team for WorldChefs and Chef Andy Cuthbert, president of Emirates Culinary Guild.
The graduates included chefs from Marriott International, Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts, Shakespeare & Co, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Emirates Flight Catering, The Address Hotels & Resorts, Jumeirah Group, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Atlantis The Palm, JA Resorts, The Rezidor Hotel Group, Media One Hotel, and Unilever amongst others.
Chef Uwe Micheel commented: “The scholarship programme is all about educating, training and certifying the talented and deserving young chefs in the UAE hospitality industry to international standards.
“We are pleased to see these young candidates with increased confidence and an all-new approach to their profession, an achievement in itself for us to know that we had successfully delivered what we had all set out to do.
“I am also pleased to say that through this programme we were able to give many a chance to fulfill their dreams without them having to worry about the financial burden.”
Chef Andy Cuthbert, president of Emirates Culinary Guild said: “The entire programme is designed to share knowledge, experience, expertise and capabilities to develop a sustainable workforce and strive for excellence through innovation, developing a socially inclusive working environment for the long-term. It is a tangible step in bridging the skills gap across the industry.”
ICCA Dubai has trained over 6,000 student chefs and maintains a record of 100% work placement for its students.
It also offers industry certification and skills development programmes in international best practices in food safety and hygiene.