The minister for education, skills and lifelong learning John Hayes has launched five Asian & Oriental Centre of Excellence, which have benefited from a £1.75m grant from his Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS).
Managed by sector skills council People 1st and industry body the Hospitality Guild the centres will train unemployed people to become skilled chefs.
The project is also due to help Asian and Oriental restaurant owners adapt to the new immigration cap which restricts their ability to recruit chefs from outside the EU.
Asian and Oriental restaurants account for over 19% of all VAT registered restaurants in the UK, 13,441 Asian and Oriental restaurants in total, employing 80,000 staff out of a total of 72,580 UK restaurants and food chains employing 660,700 people.
The five sites have been set up at colleges across England – Leeds City College, Trafford College, University College Birmingham, the University of West London and Westminster Kingsway College.