Enjoying an impressive track record, the UAE has in the recent years become a regional and global leader in the hospitality industry driven by a boom in both in its tourism and business sector. UAE’s thriving hospitality industry is an ever expanding market and it is set for a new phase of exponential growth as numerous new projects have been announced due to increased government initiatives coupled with the winning of global events such as the World Expo 2020.
Dubai’s Vision for 2020 powered by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, is to attract 20 million visitors per year by 2020, doubling the numbers welcomed in the past.
With the sector’s exponential growth very clearly determined, comes the high demand for the right kind of talent to support the standards & quality that the industry calls for. As the hotels and fine dine restaurants continue to compete for the best talent, the need is to build & retain a competitive workforce that will sustain the growth of the sector. A smart workforce that enhances efficiency & productivity, delivers at the desired levels, with a guaranteed consistency and improved quality is what is required to fill in the serious skill gap that has arisen as a result of the vibrant burst in the Emirates.
Creating the Next Generation’s F & B Production Professional
Building a Quality Workforce that is fully equipped to meet the industry needs of today & tomorrow, requires holistic and customized solution-driven training programs that are focused & aligned to deliver the required outcomes in line with the Industry Need.
It is with this thought that the International Centre for Culinary Arts, Dubai (ICCA), together with the Industry Leaders Chef Andy Cuthbert, Chairman Emirates Culinary Guild & Chairman Young Chefs Global Development Team of World Chefs and Uwe Micheel, President Emirates Culinary Guild & Assistant Vice President Worldchefs felt an obligation to educate the next generation of F&B production professionals on the challenges that the industry faces and also to accelerate their learning curve so they could immediately begin offering valuable solutions once they enter the workforce.
Education isn’t only about teaching a skill but also providing the opportunities where one can facilitate learning. It is all about building bridges where there are none, to help young minds and talent overcome the challenges, move forward and succeed. It is with this belief that they could make a difference, that ICCA Dubai initiated the ICCA Dubai Culinary Scholarship, the One Million Dirham Continuing Education Award for UAE Young Industry Chefs.
What began as a dream shared between Andy Cuthbert, Uwe Micheel and Sunjeh Raja, Director & CEO, ICCA Dubai has opened up new possibilities for young chefs in the industry, who now have the option of choosing their way forward, where they had none earlier. Launched in 2015 the objective of this Innovative Education is to train and support talented & deserving, but financially underprivileged young chefs in the Industry through an Annual Continuing Education Award.
The program aims to change completely the lives of underprivileged 30 young chefs a year, while simultaneously boosting the industry with a skilled workforce that will be fully equipped to meet the industry needs of today & tomorrow. This smart approach to education ties back to the Government’s wider vision of developing a knowledge-based economy.
Much more than a Scholarship Program or a CSR initiative… it is the prelude of a Million Dreams.
The comprehensive Vocational Education Training Program of 620 guided learning hours in Classical Continental Cuisine is delivered one day a week over 52 Weeks by the most renowned names in the UAE Hospitality Industry, who have several hundred hours of Industry experience between them.
Passion and potential won a lucky 25 budding chefs a place in the first batch of the region’s most exciting culinary scholarship program. The overwhelming success of the program saw over a hundred candidates applies for the second round this year, of which 28 were finally on-boarded.
These 28 students are receiving free hands-on education at ICCA from the Who’s who of the UAE Hospitality Industry and around the world. With extensive industry application focused knowledge & skills taught here, the chef’s educational journey has not only broadened their further opportunities but has also uplifted the quality of output at the work place.
The Vision forward
Delighted with the outcome of the scholarship program on the candidates, evident from the increased levels of confidence that has changed their outlook towards their profession and themselves; the vision forward is to support more and more aspiring and deserving young Chefs to fulfill their dreams without having to lose out on account of financial challenges.
Education is a Life Changer; it brings about a total transformation not only in the lives of the people who are educated but also alleviates the lives of the families that depend on them. Gifting an education is a noble gesture that would make a real difference to the life of the owner, and especially one such as this will help change the quality & standards of delivery in the Industry as well. Apart from the Chefs who have promoted the initiative, there would be many names joining in the cause with the faith that ‘Together we can make many more Lives Happen’.