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Hospitality course delivers jobs in Nelson Bay.

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29 March 2004


Job Network member The Salvation Army Employment Plus has secured placements for 20 job seekers following a pilot hospitality training course in Nelson Bay on the mid-north NSW coast.

Federal Member for Paterson, Bob Baldwin, said today the success of the pilot course highlighted the benefits of having Job Network members work closely with local employers.

The hospitality course was developed by The Salvation Army Employment Plus and the NSW Restaurant and Catering Association (RCA) following talks held to identify local employers’ exact staffing requirements.

“I congratulate The Salvation Army Employment Plus and the RCA on their initiative in establishing the pilot course,” Mr Baldwin said.

The initiative began with a roundtable meeting last year involving local restaurateurs, Ivan Kelly, State Manager The Salvation Army Employment Plus, Barry Martin, Area Manager, The Salvation Army Employment Plus, representatives from a local Registered Training Organisation, Robert Goldman, Chief Executive Officer, Restaurant and Catering NSW RCA, Bob Baldwin, and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Local employers told the meeting that they wanted to attract mature aged, reliable and stable employees.

The Salvation Army Employment Plus’ Nelson Bay office manager Carolyn Chenery, said that following discussions it became clear that the employers were looking for employees who wanted to make a career in hospitality, rather than those who were experienced in the industry but did not want make a career in hospitality.

“What they were looking for were people who had skills that could be readily transferred from other industries, and who were keen, reliable and motivated,” she said.

“It also emerged that what the employers were looking for was people with the right attitude rather than specific skills and considered the hospitality industry as a career choice.”

The Salvation Army Employment Plus identified 42 jobseekers to take part in the three-day course that focused on customer service, serving tables and waiting.

Of these jobseekers, 20 gained employment in the industry and two others found employment in other areas.

Bob Baldwin, has welcomed the success of the training course saying the tourism and hospitality industries dominate the Nelson Bay economy and if these industries were to continue to grow it was essential for them to attract trained staff.

“I had the pleasure of taking part in the early discussions which led to the establishment of the course and it is very pleasing to see the pilot course achieve such a positive result,” he said.

“These sorts of targeted, localised initiatives in conjunction with dedicated providers like the Salvation Army are the result of the Howard Government’s Job Network which gets better job results at far better value to the taxpayer than the old CES.”

The Salvation Army Employment Plus is now considering similar courses in Blacktown, Sydney, and in Canberra.