SAIT Polytechnic is prepping a unique group of students for life in a commercial kitchen — and the first class is set to graduate Thursday.

The students all have autism, but also have paid internships lined up as prep cooks at the end of the course. 

  • Watch the video above for more on the story from CBC's Terri Trembath.

"In the hospitality industry, there's been a notorious shortage in the entry level area of the industry," said instructor Andreas Pabst.

"It was identified that these students could do really well in that sort of position."

Pabst says students spend a great deal of time perfecting their knife skills during the 15-week course.

"It was hard the first couple weeks with the knife because it was a little bit scary, but once I got used to it I was fine," said 19-year-old Bridgette Biddell. 

Since this is a pilot project, it's not known whether there will be a second graduating class.

The first graduating class had four students.