Hospitality students at TAFE NSW’s Port Macquarie campus are enjoying learning on new, state-of-the-art equipment, as local industry stresses the importance of quality training for chefs on the Mid North Coast.
TAFE NSW has invested $100,000 in new commercial cookery and barista equipment, including new ovens, stove tops, espresso machines and coffee grinders.
The new equipment replicates what students can expect to work on in hospitality venues - and ensures they are learning about the latest innovations and advancements in the industry.
The most recent Labour Market Update from Jobs and Skills Australia lists Chefs as eighth in the top 10 occupations in demand nationally.
Former TAFE NSW student and owner and Executive Chef of Bills Fishhouse and Twotriplefour Peter Cutcliffe says it is essential chefs are learning on the most up-to-date, industry-standard equipment.
“We have a long partnership with TAFE NSW, hiring their graduates and working with apprentices to grow their skills,” he said.
“TAFE NSW investing in modern, industry-aligned teaching and learning facilities demonstrates their commitment to high quality training, to meet the increasing demand for chefs not just in our region, but around the country.”
“In order to meet our high standards and provide our customers with a truly wonderful dining experience, we need to hire well trained, experienced staff. This is crucial to the success of any hospitality business.”
Student Richard Collins is studying a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, having recently moved to Port Macquarie and deciding to make a career change - after working as a University researcher in Environmental Engineering for 20 years.
He is passionate about taking his skills into the local hospitality industry.
“I was looking to do something different, and I knew when I moved here there was a demand for chefs,” he said.
“I want to work here in this region and I am particularly passionate about venues that are using local produce and suppliers. I like the focus on community - and working with other businesses within the region.”
Student Byron Williams is an apprentice chef, working at the Crescent Head Tavern. He says learning how to use the new equipment has prepared him for the workforce.
“Using these commercial stove tops and ovens helps us to understand how things work in a busy kitchen,” he said.
“What I’m learning here gives me the confidence to do my job well and a big part of that is understanding the equipment we are using to cook on, so we have the skills to use it in the workplace. What we are learning on is really high quality.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher, Tourism and Hospitality Chris Nieuwenhof says he works directly with the local industry to ensure courses are meeting the mark.
“As a leading trainer in this region, we have a responsibility to ensure our students are entering the workforce with all the skills they need to succeed,” he said.
“Port Macquarie is a major tourism hub, and we will continue to work with local venues to meet the demand for skills chefs.”
Media contact: Lauren McAllister, Communications Specialist, MediaRelease@tafensw.edu.au, 02 7920 5000.