The out of the ordinary situation which arose during the Covid-19 emergency, implying restrictions to every school and institution, has accelerated at the same time the demand for online education.
CAST Alimenti, a state-of-the-art institution for training on all the several gastronomic disciplines, took up the challenge and forthwith implemented online paths and opportunities dedicated to its wide and diversified audience, including young students, professionals, companies, trainers, hotel schools etc.
During the lockdown, this distinguishing attribute of CAST Alimenti and the plurality of the audience inspired the school to design targeted initiatives through dedicated channels, specific to each kind of subject, thus experiencing novel teaching models to the school itself.
In addition to this feature, CAST Alimenti can eagerly count on the well-founded highly motivated involvement of its network of partners and prestigious collaborators i.e. faculty, instructors, consultants, companies, who are positively engaged with the post-Covid phase in the amazing effort to support the academic programmes of the school.
As an outcome, CAST Alimenti was able to launch a vast selection of online educational opportunities, in the time space of going back to the classroom activities. Its online academic offer is extremely comprehensive and it is rooted to a dedicated webinar platform (not open source and therefore particularly protected) useful to deliver distance learning sessions to students, trainers, professionals of the arts of taste, agrifood and food-tech companies.
In the month of May, our regular information appointment on the bill-board "I martedì in CAST Alimenti" (The Tuesdays at CAST Alimenti) has been restored (exclusively on the YouTube channel of CAST Alimenti). Through which the CAST Alimenti team, along with partner companies, provides insights into professional topics related to the various sectors of food activities.
On the same YouTube channel, CAST Alimenti is implementing a wide repertoire of video tutorials made available to teachers of hotel schools for distance learning of their students. Currently, through the same online channel, educational mentoring activities are being performed with hotel schools in order to provide their students with guidelines on the CAST Alimenti’s academic programmes which will turn their basic school preparation into a professional specialization.
Not only CAST Alimenti has thought about students but even for the professionals and food operators as well. These categories of food entrepreneurs, who already run their own business, might just need especially at this time reliable information on different professional topics. CAST Impresa is just there for them by providing initial complimentary distance consultancy sessions by analyzing their needs and expectations. CAST is already redesigning and updating its training programmes according to the new emerging market requirements which will be based on the new challenges and competitive business, mainly for the business segment of professionals and new investors.
Another initiative powered by CAST Alimenti is worth mentioning for its significant, wide range of target and for the development of opportunities that implies: it is the free podcast project #riapriamocialfuturo (reopen to the future). The initiative, realized in collaboration with various partner companies of CAST Alimenti, is directly addressed to the professionals of the food activities, providing them with points for discussion and guidance to get started again in a more conscious way after the long lockdown caused by the Covid-19 emergency.
The podcasts are created by CAST Alimenti with the support of Audiofood, a Start-up Company specialized in the production of digital contents, and involve the participation of some prestigious consultants of CAST Alimenti. These experts are interviewed on topics covering different aspects such as the reorganization of food activities, the opportunities and benefits of new services like the food delivery, how to update the products marketing, how to better communicate and, above all, how to recover motivation and enthusiasm ensuring safety alignment at the same time. Free access webinars will follow afterwards: they will provide insights into the topics raised in the podcasts and, lastly, “one to one” customized consultancy will complete the package.
This multi-channel commitment to distance learning is not meant to replace the CAST Alimenti’s main priority which lies in direct human contact in the classroom. CAST Alimenti recognizes the intrinsic and vital value of the on-site learning. On 22nd of June, CAST Alimenti will re-open its school premises and laboratories; in the meantime its team has been working on securing the premises in collaboration with the specialized companies in order to grant a safe and efficient practical training logistics and to accommodate number of students per class.
“The wide range of distance learning initiatives that we have activated are now implemented - says Vittorio Santoro, President and Director at CAST Alimenti - are proving crucial in this complex moment. However, we firmly reconfirm our will and maximum commitment to bring the students back to the classrooms at the earliest in the safest learning conditions. As a matter of fact, online activities can help in delivering theoretical contents, but they cannot replace fundamental elements for a school like ours. Practically speaking, it is of utmost importance for students to learn the manual skills of each culinary profession, as well as to acquire collaboration skills inside the brigade. Furthermore, virtual training won’t teach the hands-on approach useful to learn while properly handling technologies and professional equipment; this is a fundamental aspect that distinguishes the CAST Alimenti’s academic offer: we are equipped with the most innovative and cutting-edge technological solutions available on the market. It is only within the school walls that we can turn our philosophy into reality: delivering educational content so that it becomes embedded in the professional heritage owned by our students.”