Food & Hospitality »

Apprenticeship Program

Chefs Apprenticeship Program at El Centro College


Apprenticeship Application Form

What is it?

The Chefs Apprenticeship Training Program is an on-the-job-(OJT) training  whereby an individual (the apprentice) contracts with a qualified Culinary Facility (Hotel, Restaurant, Country club, City Club etc.) to be employed and trained for  6,000 hours based on the training program devised by the US Department of Labor (DOL).  And at the same time the individual is enrolled at El Centro College and must complete an Associate of Arts degree in either Culinary Arts or Bakery/Pastry   The US Department of Labor registers this program as recognized apprenticeship training. The duration off the Program is a minimum of 6,000 hours.  The US Department of Labor monitors the progress of each apprentice during training.

Who is the Apprentice?

Any individual who is 18 years of age, who holds a high school diploma or the equivalent and who is eligible to work in the USA.  If accepted by the facility he/she becomes a full-time employee at the facility

Other requirements

Individuals who are accepted must first be interviewed by the culinary facility and meet all the employment requirements of each facility.  These individuals must also be accepted as prospective students at El Centro College.  This includes meeting all the entrance requirements to the College and to the Culinary Arts program.

What is a Qualified Culinary Facility?

A qualified culinary facility for the purposes of the Chefs Apprenticeship Program is a facility that meets the following requirements:
  1. Employs as its Executive Chef (supervising chef) an individual who has one of the following qualifications: Certified CEC, CMC, CCC, CEPC, or holds an Associate, or a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Hospitality Management from an accredited college/university in the USA or is a current member of the TEXAS Chefs’ Association.
  2. Offers Full service menu with at least 51% of the items are prepared from “scratch.”
  3. Serves at least three of the following meal periods/experiences: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, banquets, and off-premise catering.
  4. Is recognized as a legal entity by the State of Texas and by the United States Government.
  5. Provides full-time employment for the apprentice.  This is usually specified by the Culinary Facility and it is usually between 30 and 40 hours per week.

What is the Culinary Arts Instruction?

El Centro College will provide the related instruction as they appear on the Work process Schedule.  This involves that each apprentice enrolls and completes 3 or 4 courses for 6 long semesters and 3 courses during 3 summer sessions.  All courses completed apply to either the Culinary Arts or the Bakery/Pastry Associate Degree.  There are several practicum and Co-op classes beyond the degree requirements which must be completed.

Are the Apprentices Paid?

The apprentices are paid the existing Minimum Wage for Texas/ and or the USA during the first six months of training;  with the approval of the supervising chef this period may be shortened to 90 days.  Thereafter the apprentices will be paid on the same schedule as all other culinary employees of the facility.

Is there a probationary period?

Yes.  The first 24 weeks of training is a probationary period.  At the discretion of the supervising chef this period may be shortened to 12 weeks.

When do Apprentices go to school?

The supervising chef and the apprentice agree on the schedule for classroom instruction each semester and allow the apprentice to complete this phase of training within the 3 year allowed period.  During the fall and spring semesters classes meet a total of 3 hours per day one day a week.  Classes with labs meet 3 hours a day for two consecutive days a week (6 hours.).  The schedule for the summer is more restrictive.
Each individual must successfully complete the required hours for the Culinary Arts or the Bakery/Pastry Associate Degree

Who pays for the Classroom instruction?

The apprentice is responsible for all expenses while attending El Centro College.  However, many culinary facilities have education programs as part of their benefit package for each employee, and these should be extended to the apprentices.  Furthermore, there are many Hospitality Industry Scholarships available to El Centro College students.

What happens at the end of training?

The apprentice will receive a certificate of Completion of apprenticeship from the US Department of Labor.  This certificate will be issued only when the supervising chef certifies that the apprentice has met all the OJT requirements as well as having completed the required instruction at El Centro College.

(Fact Sheet Revised 05-02-14)

More Questions? Concerns?

Subject:  Apprenticeship Program  ATTN:  Bill Hodges or Gus Katsigris