Respected regional chefs have united to help address a skills shortage by sharing their stories at the inaugural Cheftalk.
The forum was organised by TAFE NSW and Wodonga TAFE and is designed to inspire school leavers, as well as those considering a career change.
Craig Kidd, Head of Department, Commercial Cookery at TAFE NSW says the response to the get together is a pleasing first step.
“Apprenticeship numbers are declining, not just regionally but nationally, so we wanted to engage with industry and discuss ways we can fix that locally,” Craig said.
“The idea of today is to create a conduit for industry and potential apprentices to meet and connect, so that kids that are thinking about going into an apprenticeship, get a very accurate picture of what to expect.
“Considering we’re right in peak HSC exam time, the turnout is very impressive. This is just the start of a number of events to keep conversations going and keep those relationships between potential apprentices and employers happening,” he said.
Chefs who volunteered for Cheftalk included Justin Hope from the SS&A Club, Nick Gosnick from Settlers Tavern in Mount Beauty, Anna-mei Telmo from Atura, David Kapay from Miss Amelie and Jamie Cox from the Star Hotel Yackandandah who was pleased he participated in the get together.
“It just think it’s fantastic to see people who are actually coming out on their own time, talking and seeing what they can get out of the industry and showing initiative,” Jamie said.
“It was great to talk to different people and find out what their thoughts are about the industry before they get into it.”
Organisers are now looking at potential ‘trial courses’ and job placements for attendees, as well as forming industry networking events for chefs.