Help for pupil chefs

The Advertiser - Careers - - Front Page - Cara Jenkin

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

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