The American Culinary Federation (ACF), the premier professional association for chefs in North America, and its educational arm, the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF) has recently announced the launch of an updated Apprenticeship Portal, a digital learning platform designed specifically for culinary apprentices and program administrators.
Since 1979, ACFEF culinary apprenticeships, the first of their kind to be offered in the United States, have combined on-the-job experience with related classroom instruction and expert mentorship for future chefs. Now, this tried-and-true format for culinary education features a digital hub for online learning, skills development, curriculum management and other resources to make apprenticeships more accessible to aspiring chefs and more beneficial to the kitchens in which they work and learn.
“ACFEF apprenticeships boast a long legacy of empowering aspiring culinarians to develop the technical abilities and professionalism required for successful careers in foodservice, and of cultivating the highly trained workforce employers in our industry need,” said ACF National President Stafford T. DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC. “We’re proud to say this modernized hybrid learning platform is the first in the culinary industry and that it meets chefs where they are, enabling them to develop their skills within busy schedules and with a goal of eliminating the burden of student loan debt.”
As part of the program relaunch, ACFEF has modernized the apprenticeship guideline standards and developed a mobile-friendly skills textbook and gallery. Apprentices can use their mobile phones to record the skills competencies associated with their training track, ledger hours and review relevant subject knowledge pages.
The ACFEF Apprenticeship Committee rewrote required apprenticeship competencies to allow for some or all of what was once classroom instruction to be completed via online sources, allowing programs to customize and adapt to better fit the needs of current and prospective students. Some facilities, including the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management in Pullman, Washington, will use the platform to offer an innovative online, skills-based curriculum for a class of remote or semi-remote apprentices.
“There’s a mistaken impression that future chefs need to relocate to a small list of big cities in order to get the highest level of training and experience — that no longer has to be the case,” said Jeremy Abbey, CEC, CEPC, CCE, CCA, director of culinary programs for ACF. “With this system, and as the ACF apprenticeship roster continues to expand, ACF will help culinary employers and communities grow and retain local talent by offering an exciting educational pathway and an opportunity for future professionals to earn while they learn in their own backyard.”
A streamlined approach to establishing and managing apprenticeship programs is another key feature of the Portal. Processes that were once heavily manual, such as logbook entries, are now easily achieved and tracked by apprenticeship coordinators via the online system.
“Our ACF apprenticeship coordinators are dedicated mentors highly invested in the success of the next generation of chefs,” continued Abbey. “Making these programs easier for them to facilitate, as well as for employers to sign on to, was one of our top priorities in building the system.”
SOURCE American Culinary Federation
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