Minister Assisting the Minister for Education and Training Norm Marlborough today launched the hospitality industry’s latest initiative to get high school students interested in a career in the food industry.
“I am delighted to be launching the ‘Taste’ program, which gives students an introduction to fine dining at its highest level with the aim of opening the door to a career in this rewarding industry,” Mr Marlborough said.
Western Australia’s leading chefs and food establishments are behind the program, which is being run by the WA Hospitality Industry Training Council.
Russell Blaikie, of the Must Winebar in Highgate, said the idea came about over a glass of wine with Kate Lamont of Lamont’s in East Perth.
“We had to come up with a way to market our trade during the current skills shortage and heard about this successful scheme being run out of a Chicago restaurant where kids were being brought in to find out what inspired them,” Mr Blaikie said.
As a result, the best chefs in Perth had come together to offer themselves as mentors to groups of students in Years Nine through to 11 who were interested in the chance to get a taste of a fine dining experience.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to open students’ minds to the possibility of working with the cream of the crop in the food industry,” the Minister said.
“The co-operation of Perth’s headline chefs to get this program up and running has been fuelled by the need to get more young people into the trade, particularly into pastry cooking and baking,” Mr Blaikie said.
Students who decide to accept the challenge of a career in the food and hospitality industry can join the School Apprenticeship Link program, in which Year 11 students start training at TAFE and complete their apprenticeship in 2.5 years.
“The School Apprenticeship Link program is the finest program on offer into a career in the food trade,” Mr Blaikie said.
“By being inducted through TAFE and finishing with a host employer the program ensures apprentices are career ready and in high demand from employers.”
The program is to rotate through the establishments of all eight chefs involved including: Peter Manifis of Vine Leaves; Erwin Schick, the Burswood Entertainment complex, Kate Lamont of Lamonts; Neal Jackson of Jacksons Restaurant in Highgate; Russell Blaikie, the Must Winebar; Chris Taylor, Frasers Restaurant, Kings Park; Kinglsey Sullivan of New Norcia Bakeries, Mount Hawthorn and Andrew Thomas of the Sheraton Hotel, Perth.
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