Help for pupil chefs
A FURNITURE and homewares store might not seem like the place for commercial cookery students to develop their skills. But IKEA Adelaide has opened the doors to its in-store restaurant to students from the Australian Institute South Australia to get on-the-job training and work experience.
The four-week placement for 12 commercial cookery students was the first in what is expected to be an ongoing partnership between IKEA and the institute.
The restaurant provides a variety of food to the store’s customers, including light meals such as sandwiches and children’s food, to cooked breakfasts, main meals and desserts.
Students are trained in Australian meals as well as traditional Swedish choices to reflect IKEA’s origins, which will also give students flair to try different styles of food.
The Adelaide restaurant seats up to 360 customers, ensuring the students are experienced in catering to large groups of people. IKEA Adelaide food and beverage manager Alex Riach said students had access to training in safety and the highquality food preparation at the store’s restaurant at the Adelaide Airport precinct.
‘‘IKEA Adelaide operates one of the busiest and best-value restaurants in the state, and this environment will give students a great insight into how a busy kitchen is managed,’’ he said.
‘‘They will benefit from practical industry experience and training to complement the classroom training provided by the institute.
‘‘It’s expected that after completing their training, some students may be offered work at IKEA.’’
He said it was likely students who could not be offered employment at the restaurant would be sought by local hotels and restaurants, as the industry was experiencing a skills shortage.
‘‘Our partnership with the Australian Institute South Australia builds upon partnerships with other local education and job providers, which include UniSA, Disability Works Australia and TAFE,’’ he said.
‘‘IKEA offers a range of career opportunities including interior design, food and beverage, human resources, marketing and retail.
‘‘Where possible we like support training and development in these sectors.’’
The Australian Institute South Australia is a private vocational college that trains more than 350 students each year.
It is a sister college to the Perth Institute Western Australia, which has been operating since 1993.
It offers specialist training in commercial cookery, hairdressing and business studies, and plans to add training in bakery and patisserie to its schedule next year.
Director and chief executive Trevor Barker said industry partnerships ensured that local and international students received the most relevant and practical training possible. ‘‘The IKEA program will provide students with the opportunity to gain real work skills and firsthand experience in cookery as well as providing a buddy to mentor and support students through their training,’’ he said.
‘‘Such industry partnerships are a feature of AISA’s training programs and better prepare students for employment, as well as providing students with opportunities for further employment.’’
A Certificate III in Hospitality (commercial cookery) is a 12-month course and graduates can go on to further study for a Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma.
NO ALLEN KEYS: Alex Riach, food and beverage manager, with Jane Draper, kitchen operations supervisor, and students in the IKEA kitchen. Picture: CHRISMANGAN