As Victoria prepares to exit lockdown and reopen, two industry associations and the state’s largest hospitality employer have announced a partnership designed to ease the hospitality skills shortage.

The Australian Hotels Association (Vic), Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Crown Melbourne will offer a free-of-charge Beverage Skills Pathway Program to train 1000 Victorians in key hospitality skills by July next year. The program aims to address the skills shortage and help the industry through its COVID-19 recovery; with the successful applicants being matched with businesses looking for skilled workers once they complete the course.

Any Victorian looking to start a career in hospitality should head to the Jobs in Hospo website.

In addition to getting access to the course free-of-charge, the successful applicants will actually be paid while they attend the course, which will take place at the award-winning Crown College.

AHA (Vic) CEO, Paddy O’Sullivan, said the recovery of hospitality will be at the heart of Victoria’s recovery from COVID-19.

“It’s important that as an industry we work together to ensure we have the talent in market and that talent is trained to the highest standards,” he said.

“Victoria and Melbourne particularly has always been the food and events capital of Australia – that is a mantle that is delivered by a strong hospitality industry. Investing in training that will benefit the entire industry is something we are keen to support.”

Crown Melbourne Executive General Manager Food and Beverage, Enda Cunningham, added that the industry needs to ensure hospitality continues to attract the talent it needs to in order to remain competitive and future-proof itself.

“COVID-19 has been incredibly hard on hospitality,” she said.

“The skill standard right across our industry ultimately benefits us all, and with the scale that we have at Crown and our training facilities – we are proud to be able to contribute and help the industry get back on track by upskilling a thousand workers.”

The course, which is open to both metropolitan and regional based Victorians, will include the key skills of hospitality including food and beverage fundamentals, customer service, crockery and cutlery, handling and polishing, order taking, docket writing, service sequencing and cocktail making. The education will have a strong local flavour, with students also to be educated on the different provenance stories and strengths within Victoria’s regional areas, including wine and specialty foods renowned across various regions.

Victorian Chamber Chief Executive, Paul Guerra, says that delivering the skills early to ensure that the hospitality industry is ready for reopening will be instrumental in Victoria’s recovery.

“COVID-19 has devastated hospitality. Businesses have not just been forced to close for months on end; they also lost some of their best talent who were forced to look for work in other industries. Crown is known for its training standards and is a major hospitality employer in Australia. Providing that training for the rest of the industry to benefit will help lift the industry and kick-start its recovery,” he said.

Any Victorian looking to start a career in hospitality should head to the Jobs in Hospo website.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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