A £750,000 training academy proposed by the manager of one of Bradford's oldest curry houses could help train future generations of restaurant professionals.

The scheme has been suggested by Mohammed Latif, owner of the Kashmir restaurant on Morley Street, which was established in the 1950s.

He Latif feels that there is a shortage of skilled cooks, caterers and serving staff in the city and is applying for funding to address the issue.

The proposed training institute would be based on Wilton Street, near to the Kashmir.

Fitting out the building, currently used as storage, would cost around £300,000, while running the academy would cost in the region of £450,000.

Mr Latif said: "In the last few years we have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the food industry and the opening of many new restaurants which has increased the need for specifically skilled professionals.

"Once the training of these individuals has finished, we will also ensure that they are hired by the local food businesses. The need for skilled food professionals is always very high due to the high employee turnover which is expected in this sector."

Seven full time jobs would be directly created by the project, although Mr Latif hopes the training provided will help bring many more people out of unemployment.

He has applied to Bradford Council for grants to help fund the project and is waiting to hear if his application has been successful.

People attending the free academy would be taught food preparation, handling, presentation, cooking, hygiene, health and safety and how to handle customers.

The hope is that trainees who complete an academy course, would then be placed in local restaurants for additional on-site and work-based coaching to prepare them for full-time employment.

The main focus would be on training unemployed people, and Mr Latif believes there are no other organisations offering such services in the district.

Mr Latif said several well known Asian restaurants had already pledged their support to the academy and agreed to offer work placements to students.

Businessman Mohammed Azam, who is also involved in the plans, said: "Unemployment rates in Bradford are very high and this will help people get important skills.

"There is also a growing need for skilled restaurant workers in the area. No training is really provided to people who want to work in restaurants like it is in other sectors.

"It can be very, very hard to recruit people with the relevant skills to work in a restaurant. This academy will help fill the gap.

"It will give people the knowledge and practical skills, and once they have them they will get experience working in restaurants. It is a project that will benefit the entire community."

He said the academy would teach people how to cook foods from a variety of backgrounds, not just Asian cuisine.

If the academy is a success, there are plans to roll out the idea in other cities.