ATEL worked with TAFE NSW Kingswood campus to develop a Multi-industry Project (MIP) in the hospitality industry. TAFE Kingswood had not previously conducted a multi-trade pre-apprenticeship program and typically designed pre-apprenticeship courses of 5 to 6 weeks. The TAFE team had concerns about keeping the MIP participants engage over 12 weeks and worked hard to ensure a delivery plan and participant communication supported the MIP participants to maintain focus on the importance of actively engaging in each trade.
Seventy-five percent of the group of 15 participants were long-term unemployed. It is often difficult for the long-term unemployed to adjust to fulltime work and the associated travel, which can be extensive in hospitality traineeships in the CBD. The group have been encouraged to consider this commitment and to be realistic in their career pathway options.
Many made a decision on their area of interest after completing front-of-house service and kitchen operations. The group’s understanding of the trades was excellent; they were considering not only the skills and attributes but also the hours of work, locations and their options to work in the CBD in part-time and casual jobs that may assist them in their pursuit of a trade pathway. Some did go on to casual work, which is an excellent stepping-stone to careers in the hospitality industry and provides for easing into the world of work after long-term unemployment.
The group’s survey responses indicated that practical projects were the most enjoyed element, this included preparing and serving meals for visiting groups in the TAFE restaurant. However, as ‘real world’ as this environment was, many were very apprehensive about work experience. The ATEL team, recognising a level of anxiety in some participants, worked closely with them over an extended period to assist them in recognising their qualities and abilities, and provided assistance with work-ready and travel information.
Two participants deciding to commit to an apprenticeship pathway, one of who was long-term unemployed, have since commenced apprenticeships – a great outcome.