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Hospitality course returns to help desperate industry

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A hospitality training course has returned to South West TAFE to help an industry desperate for qualified staff.

The Certificate III in Hospitality will start later this month in response to demand from local outlets as tourism and hospitality ramps up after COVID-19 lockdowns, particularly as demand peaks for the May Racing Carnival.

The course hasn’t been offered by South West TAFE for several years but teacher Hayley Dowling said it was needed to meet industry demands.

“There’s a real gap in the market at the moment,” Ms Dowling said. “From speaking to hospitality owners, many are struggling to get staff, especially good trained staff.”

Ms Dowling said many people had left the industry when it was impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Now the industry is recovering and it will continue to grow, but they need trained workers.”

Lady Bay Resort general manager Lydia Kippe said hospitality venues were struggling to keep up with demand and to find new trained employees.

“Since reopening from the COVID-19 closures we’ve had an influx of trade in both accommodation and the restaurant, but, like many other venues, we struggle to keep up with the demand,” Ms Kippe said.

“At times, it’s difficult to complete the service to our desired standards with limited staff, as well as being hard to find new staff.

Ms Kippe said strong bookings for the May Racing Carnival were great for local businesses, but also challenging. “It’s great that this year May Races we will be in full swing once again compared to last year, this is one of the busiest weeks of the year. Along with our recent restructuring due to the impacts of Covid-19, this will bring new challengers to everyone but of course we welcome it with open arms and high anticipation”.

Ms Kippe said previous TAFE graduates employed at Lady Bay Resort were valuable staff members. “It takes very little adjustment for them to fit into our team and their skills are well developed,” she said.

Ms Dowling said students graduating the hospitality course would benefit from South West TAFE’s industry connections.

“There are plenty of career paths,” she said. “It’s suitable for anybody from school leavers looking for a pathway into a career or to get work while they are studying or travelling, people who want a career change or those who want to open their own business.”

The course covers coffee making, safe food handling, hygienic practices, responsible serving of alcohol and leadership and starts on April 22. People can apply through www.swtafe.edu.au/apply or contact Ms Dowling on 55 648 850.

Students will be on-campus for three days each week for the six-month course at the Warrnambool campus. It’s also a JobTrainer course which means it’s low fee for eligible applicants.