Australian’s obsession and love of all things food does not appear to
be slowing down anytime soon. According to the 2016 Census, the food
service and accommodation sector accounts for 738,231 positions or 6.9
per cent of Australia’s total working population.
Of the 738,231 positions, a staggering 80,723 were for chefs, an
increase of over 20,000 jobs in the 2011 census. However, despite the
increase in job opportunities, TAFE NSW research has found that there
is a national skills shortage for qualified chefs with 65 per cent of
position unfilled, and 70 per cent of job postings in this industry
asked for a certificate level qualification.
After discovering cooking was a therapeutic way to de-stress at the
end of the day, 42-year-old father-of-one, Sumidohlo Sutirman (Sumi)
is turning his love of baking into a career.
Born and raised in Indonesia, Sumi completed a degree in accounting
before moving to Australia in 1999 to study English and IT database marketing.
After becoming an Australian citizen, Sumi worked in the Coles bakery
where he remained employed for 18 years and rediscovered his love of
baking. Sumi also found that career progression would be near
impossible at one of Australia’s largest companies without a trade qualification.
In 2011, it was the love of television show, MasterChef that gave
Sumi the final inspiration he needed to follow his passion and get the
qualifications required to be in a career he loved.
“Watching too much MasterChef got me thinking about turning my
passion into a career,” Sumi said. “When I watched the show, the
cooking looked really hard, but then I would do it and find it quite
easy because it’s something that I enjoy, there was no pressure, plus
I am really good at cooking.”
Sumi enrolled in a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at TAFE NSW
Ultimo and is now completing a Certificate III in Retail Baking
(Combined) at TAFE NSW Campbelltown.
Sumi has also experienced the high-pressure kitchen environment he
gained a glimpse into from watching MasterChef, as he worked at Sydney
City IBIS Hotel’s buffet breakfast for six months while completing his
studies and working at Coles. It is Sumi’s love of cooking that
overrides the pressure environment.
“Cooking and baking gives me the chance to forget about everything
else going on and de-stress,” Sumi said.
Sumi says he enjoys all aspects of learning at TAFE NSW.
“The teachers are great and the people are wonderful. If you’re
behind in a task, my fellow classmates will pitch in to ensure that it
gets done,” he said.
Sumi has also learnt the art of bread making and cake decorating and
hopes one day to open his own café which would feature mini-cakes.
“I look forward to owning a café. I would also like to employ
work-experience students from TAFE NSW so they can gain the valuable
practical skills they need.”
Sumi will continue to develop his skills through his studies, and
practice at home where his cooking is judged and tasted by his
“I cook him everything, soup, chicken and so far he’s eating it all
so he must love it,” Sumi laughed.
To learn more about studying cooking at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Teresa Lane, TAFE NSW Media and Communications
Business Partner 9796 5476, mobile 0412 773 887