THEY may come in with stars in their eyes, but at least students are coming into the hospitality industry, according to chef Mandy Rogers.
A chef at Banjo’s Cafe, on Charles Sturt University’s Orange campus, Ms Rogers said the hospitality industry had undergone a resurgence in popularity, largely due to reality television cooking shows.
The cafe has a waiting list of year 10 and 11 students from across the region hoping to complete part of their Certificate II in hospitality training at the cafe.
This week, Blayney High School students Mikaela Hopkins and Georgie Nixon will undertake a placement at the cafe to learn more about hospitality employment options.
“The tv shows are glamorising it as an industry,” Ms Rogers said.
“They come with stars in their eyes, but it’s not like that.”
She said the industry had suffered over the years due to the “unsocial hours”.
“The industry is in such a bad state, the numbers were just dropping off and off,” she said.
“They don’t want to work weekends or nights.”
Student Georgie said she was a fan of reality television cooking shows.
“I watch those shows and it gives me a bit of inspiration,” she said.
Mikaela said she enjoyed cooking and thought the hospitality course and placement would benefit her career.
“I want to get into food and nutrition, and this is part of it,” she said.
“I’m still figuring it all out, but I’m doing what I enjoy.”
Banjo’s Cafe caters for students who live on and off campus, along with staff and visitors.
Ms Rogers said the week-long placement gave students a true taste of what working in hospitality ws like.
During the week students undertake a range of food preparation and service tasks.
“I get them to do most things like lunch service,” she said.
Students will learn knife skills, stock control and rotation, temperature control and correct lifting procedures.
Ms Rogers said many students who complete the Certificate II in Hospitality go on to train to work as a chef.
Struggle to provide training
THERE are simply not enough training places for high school students to undertake required placements for their Certificate II in Hospitality training, according to a local chef.
Orange Ex-Services’ Club is one of only two suitable commercial kitchens in Orange, the other is Banjo’s Cafe.
Students travel from Orange, Blayney, Molong and Cumnock to take part in the compulsory one-week hands-on placement at one of these locations.
Ex-Service’s Club chief human resource officer David Carson said they may soon have to “rest” the students placements due to increasing numbers.
“It’s coming to that part of the year where we might have to put a rest on things, especially over the festive season,” he said.
Mr Carson said they could have between two and four hospitality students most weeks, and train more than 60 a year.
“It’s put a little bit of pressure on us. Every week we’ve got people here and it does put pressure on staff,” he said.
Despite the strain on club staff, Mr Carson said they would work with it because of their commitment to the community.
“The club is trying to keep up as best as we can,” he said.
Mr Carson said they received positive feedback from students after their placements, however it would ease the pressure if there were more venues available.
Banjo’s Cafe chef Mandy Rogers said they also had a constant supply of high school students in search of a placement.
“Three weeks out of four we’ll have two students here,” she said.
Ms Rogers said staff guided the students through a range of hospitality roles during their hectic work day.