Hospitality hopes and dreams – all-SPARKs in action!

On 19 June 2017, the SPARK team celebrated day one of its partnership with the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), to deliver an 18-week hospitality training program to 17 members of the local community.

Over the course of the program students will learn about safe work practices, food hygiene, workplace communication, service of food and beverages, social and cultural sensitivity, espresso preparation, bar operation, and processing financial transactions.

Following completion, participants will be awarded a Certificate III in Hospitality, Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate, and provided real employment pathways within the hospitality sector.

The group recently toured The Link at Ginninderry and visited the Magpies Sports Club to learn more about the project and hear from local industry employers. We sat down with a few members of the current program, to hear their stories and find out what motivates some of them in their quest to become their own MasterChef!

Samantha Lambourne

For former Year 11 Hawker College student Samantha Lambourne, the opportunity to professionalise her passion for cooking was one not to be missed, choosing to trade the remainder of her studies for a place on the program. On completion, Samantha hopes to pursue her dream of becoming a chef and to one day, open her own Pakistani-inspired restaurant in the Capital. She hopes in doing so she’ll be able to educate local foodies over the unique qualities of her native cuisine, saying “people constantly confuse it with Indian!”

Ferina Ekawati

Ferina moved to the Capital from Indonesia six years ago with her husband. Until recently, Ferina was a stay at home mum looking after her three-year-old daughter. She discovered SPARK through Uniting Care Kippax’s parenting group, and took it as part of her plan to get an apprenticeship in baking. “My husband loves bread. He’s French – you know the French and bread – I picked it up from him!”, she said. Ferina is enjoying the program so far, having no prior knowledge of hospitality and relishing the opportunity to learn something new. Like Samantha, Ferina hopes too to one day own her own business in the form of a bakery – much to her husband’s delight!

Julian Gillespie

It was while on his Gap year that former Year 12 Dickson College graduate Julian Gillespie discovered his SPARK-calling. With big plans to travel in future, Julian is keen to acquire experience in hospitality as he knows such a universal skillset will enable him to find casual work wherever he goes in the world. “I’m really enjoying the program so far – it’s such a supportive and friendly environment!”, he said.

Samantha, Ferina and Julian along with remaining program participants recently visited the Magpie’s football club in Kippax, as part of an ‘in-the-field’ trip to get a closer look at the hospitality sector in action. During the trip students were given the opportunity to witness first hand operations behind the bar, and restaurant counter, along with an exclusive trip to the kitchen and cold storage room.

With work placements on the horizon, students will soon be fitted with uniforms, before moving out to the CIT Reid campus where they will have access to industry-specific facilities for practical, hands-on, hospitality training.

Good luck all for the remainder of the program – we look forward to celebrating with you at your graduation on Thursday 12 October 2017!

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