R&CA paves a new PaTH for hospitality
The Restaurant & Catering Association of Australia (R&CA) has announced that it’s been funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to deliver an innovative youth employment program tailored to assist the hospitality sector to attract workers.
R&CA’s “Building Skills for the Future of Hospitality” PaTH program will provide young job seekers with the opportunity to gain practical and holistic skills that are transferrable for use in the hospitality industry. This can help them to gain meaningful employment.
R&CA CEO Wes Lambert says that the program is one of the first funded through the PaTH Business Placement Partnership program (PBPP).
“We are the first PBPP panel member to be funded to deliver the program,” he says. “Not only will this help skill the next generation of Australian hospitality professionals; it will also help tackle the crippling staffing and skills crisis our industry is currently facing.”
The right support
The program consists of three days of face-to-face training which, in partnership with the Institute of Training + Further Education, covers fundamental accredited training such as the responsible service of alcohol, food handling and knife skills, and a suite of micro-credentials and digital accreditations that focus on customer service and code of conduct.
On completion of training, job seekers are matched with R&CA member businesses for a four-week internship. Suitable participants will then be offered ongoing employment. Both intern and employer will be financially supported during this time by the government.
“Having the opportunity to trial future employees with financial support lowers the risk for my business,” says Nathan Toleman, CEO of The Mulberry Group. “It also gives the person the experience and knowledge to gain employment in hospitality.”
A wealth of experience
In partnership with Straight To The Source, which connects foodservice professionals with Australia’s diverse food-growing regions and producers, interns will also have the chance to attend a hands-on tour and visit food producers. This will allow the interns to engage, connect and understand more about the hospitality sector.
As part of the program, R&CA has hired hospitality professionals, ex-head chefs, front-of-house staff and hospitality business owners to mentor interns in the program. The mentors all have an in-depth understanding of what it’s like to start from scratch in the industry. They also know how to develop employees in the industry to build successful careers.
“Having the right mentoring and support from day one can make or break a career,” says Katrina Higham, PaTH Program Manager. “Our mentors are all professionals who’ve been in the industry for decades. They understand the importance of supporting our youth.”