Daniel Boulud is in the process of partnering with the Department of Education to start a restaurant apprenticeship program for high school students. The program, which is modeled after a system that's common in Europe, would involve Boulud's Dinex Group taking on high school students as interns in its various restaurants, starting in September. When those students graduated, they would then be immediately eligible for an apprenticeship at one of Boulud's restaurants. Although the DOE does already have internship programs with groups like Union Square Hospitality Group, this would be a longer and more intensive program.
Boulud, who says he has between 10 to 30 job openings at his restaurants each week, hopes the program will help lessen the industry's high turnover rate and shortage of employees. Business partner Lili Linton tells Crain's that it's "about retention, not saving money." The hope is that high school students will develop more loyalty to a restaurant than culinary school graduates, who are in search of top positions and salaries high enough to pay off their student loans.
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