26 September 2023

Apprentice chefs and cooks liking it hot

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More cooks are bound for Queensland kitchens with the launch of an innovative pilot program matching employers with apprentice chefs.

Announcing the Commercial Cookery Pilot, the Minister for Training and Skills Development, Di Farmer said the program would train work-ready cooks, which the industry needed now and into the future.

Ms Farmer said with more than 1,200 job vacancies across the State, the Government had partnered with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) and TAFE Queensland to launch the Pilot Program which was an intensive apprentice training model and student and employer matching program.

Ms Farmer said the economic recovery of Queensland’s tourism and hospitality sector was reliant on a job-ready workforce.

“Queensland is reopening to the world and one of our greatest selling points is our unrivalled hospitality scene,” she said.

“Now is the time for our cafés and restaurants to shine, but they need the workforce to do it.

“Unfortunately, too many cooks in the kitchen is not a problem Queensland has.”

The Minister said the 40-week Pilot Program would be delivered to as many as 75 students at TAFE campuses in South Bank, Mooloolaba, Southport and Cairns.

She said the first intake of 16 students started their free training at TAFE Queensland’s South Bank campus last month.

Ms Farmer said the intensive cookery program significantly shortened apprenticeship completion times and increased completion rates.

She said students took part in a ‘speed date’ of sorts with employers from across the local tourism and hospitality industry.

“It gives employers access to a high-quality candidate pool and students the opportunity to find work experience and potential employment as an apprentice,” Ms Farmer said.

Further information on the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery can be accessed at this PS News link.

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