Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman today launched the Palaszczuk Government’s Free TAFE campaign for 2018 Year 12 graduates to take up free training in the year after they leave school.
“Free TAFE for Year 12 graduates is a great opportunity for those who want to follow a path in any number of careers, including hospitality,” Ms Fentiman told Beenleigh State High School students at their annual Paddock 2 Plate lunch.
“The fourth annual Paddock 2 Plate at Beenleigh State High brings the freshest produce from their school garden and agricultural paddocks straight to the dinner table, while educating and informing students about where our food comes from and giving them the opportunity to learn valuable skills for their future careers.”
The Minister said that students completing Year 12 this year who were specifically interested in hospitality could sign up next year for apprenticeships or traineeships in catering, hospitality, baking and commercial cookery or training in high-priority qualifications such as food processing and agrifood operations across 160 courses.
“Locally, students can choose from a range of training providers including TAFE Queensland’s Loganlea campus, Strategix Training Group’s Loganholme College and the Beenleigh-based Brisbane Business and Hospitality Training,” Ms Fentiman said.
“The Jobs Queensland Tourism Workforce Plan released last month indicates that as the tourism and hospitality industry continue to grow it is forecasted that we will need over 20,000 more Queenslanders in these jobs by 2020.
“That’s why we’re investing in initiatives like free TAFE to ensure we have the skilled workers we need to fill the jobs for the future.”
“The Beenleigh State High students have a head start and the skills they have learnt this week from celebrity chef Matt Golinski have enabled them to serve up a fine-dining experience for 250 guests.
“Matt has spent the past three days in the school’s trade training centre kitchen with 20 hospitality students to ensure today’s menu and service were top quality.
“He was here in 2015 for the first Paddock 2 Plate and his dedication to training the chefs of the future is obvious as he has been a part of the event each year.”
The Minister congratulated the chef for his continuing commitment to the students at Beenleigh State High School and to his ongoing role as a passionate ambassador for the Food, Wine and Tourism Gateway Schools project where he trains hospitality teachers.
“Matt is a former TAFE student who completed his apprenticeship at Brisbane restaurants while at the former College of Tourism and Hospitality in South Brisbane.
“He now generously shares his skills and knowledge with the trainers and students to pass on his culinary tips to the next generation.”
Beenleigh State High School principal Matt O’Hanlon acknowledged Ms Fentiman’s support of his school and of the “broader Logan community”.
“Shannon has taken a keen interest in the training we provide at the school and the many community people that support us,” he said.
Member for Macalister Melissa McMahon said that in addition to the vocational education and training (VET) students, the school’s agricultural studies’ students, who help run the on-site farm, were crucial to the success of today’s fund-raising event.
“They produced a bumper crop of strawberries and the herbs, vegetables, eggs and the high quality steak, pork and lamb featured on today’s menu,” Mrs McMahon said.
“The Paddock 2 Plate philosophy means sourcing as many ingredients as possible from either the school farm, or local growers.
“This annual lunch started four years ago with about 80 guests and has grown to a significant community event which is sold out weeks before the day.”
Funds raised go to the Parents and Citizens Association for school upgrades and to support a team of students to do work experience at the 5 Star Marco Polo Hotel in Changzhou in China.
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman