Regional WA’s speedy service to meet hospitality jobs shortage

May 27, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Five participants in the Kimberley Hospitality Job Connect were immediately offered employment after they participated in the program earlier this month, kicking off their career in hospitality by working at the region’s biggest music concert, the Kimberley Moon Experience event on May 22. 

Kimberley Hospitality Job Connect is designed to assist job seekers in the Kimberley to enter the hospitality industry with work- ready skills and to meet the huge industry need given the current domestic tourist boom.

In all, 21 participants took part in the job placement and upskilling program which ran from 10-14 May, and included workshops on customer service, food safety practices, barista skills and resume development as well as TAFE accredited units, and industry certifications.

Six local employers in Kununurra – located 45 kilometres from WA’s border with the Northern Territory – are now looking to place participants in 13-20 general hospitality roles, such as waitstaff, housekeepers and kitchen hands. East Kimberly Job Pathways (EKJP), who partnered with Tourism WA for the program, is now working with local employers and providing job support for participants to help them to take up employment opportunities.

Course participant Sasha Bambra of Kununurra welcomed the experience. She said, “It was my first time doing a course and I met a lot of new people. The course included a lot of information on food preparation, cooking and customer service. Getting in the kitchen was a good experience and doing the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) role plays. I was keen to sign up to work at the Kimberley Moon Experience to get more experience.” 

Australia Hotels Association (WA) CEO, Bradley Woods said the five-day initiative was timely given the acute workforce shortages being experienced across regional WA.

“This practical, hands-on training will help prepare job seekers with the kind of basic experience and knowledge that hospitality operators are looking for,” Mr Woods said.

“There are an abundance of hospitality jobs in regional WA at the moment, that can act as a launching pad into long, successful careers so now is the ideal time to equip job seekers with essential skills and basic qualifications they need to hit the ground running.”

Industry leader and WA Food Ambassador, Don Hancey, conducted masterclasses as part of the initiative to support hospitality businesses and local job seekers. He said,“We saw a great turnout and participants were eager to get involved with all aspects of the course, including the industry certifications and the different skills-based workshops.

“I enjoyed introducing participants to the kitchen, teaching food safety practices and speaking about how a career in hospitality can be a very rewarding and fulfilling job path.”

The course was deemed si successful, Tourism WA is exploring running further courses in regional centres and is expanding its marketing drive with Future Now, positioning the WA tourism and hospitality industry as a great career choice. A Hospitality, Tourism and Events Village is also planned as part of the Perth – Skills West Careers and Employment Expo at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre in August.

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