Mid Louth Independent - - NEWS - By ALI­SON COMYN

THREE lo­cal ho­tels and restau­rants have joined forces with the Boomerang Café to of­fer work ex­pe­ri­ence to early school leavers who might want a ca­reer in cater­ing or hos­pi­tal­ity.

The launch of the Carnegie Cater­ing Pro­gramme - Cater­ing Sup­port QQI Level 4 – took place in the café on Wed­nes­day and de­tails were out­lined of how young men and women could ben­e­fit from this new ini­tia­tive.

Schol­ars Town­house Ho­tel, The West­court Ho­tel and Rel­ish café have all pledged work ex­pe­ri­ence and sup­port to the unique pro­gramme, which hopes to cre­ate chefs and ho­tel staff for the fu­ture.

“This pro­gramme has been in the pipe­line for quite some time, it comes now in re­sponse to the many en­quires we had from our learn­ers over the last num­ber of years,” says Lor­raine McKe­vitt, co-or­di­na­tor of the ESLO (Ed­u­ca­tion Skills Learn­ing Op­por­tu­ni­ties) ini­tia­tive.

“It of­fers a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for learn­ers to take their first step on the ca­reer lad­der in the area of cater­ing, and we are also de­lighted to wel­come on board our three pro­gramme part­ners who be­tween them bring a wealth of knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence, of­fer­ing our learner some real time ex­pe­ri­ence, knowl­edge, sup­port and guid­ance”.

“As well as train­ing in kitchen skills, can­di­dates will re­ceive real-time ex­pe­ri­ence in the fa­cil­i­ties which have part­nered up with us, and there is no sub­sti­tute for see­ing first­hand how to put what they learn into prac­tice.”

The aim of the train­ing pro­gramme is to give mo­ti­vated and en­thu­si­as­tic learn­ers aged 16-25 who have the pas­sion for food and cook­ing, the skills to ei­ther progress to full time em­ploy­ment in the Cater­ing and Hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try or to progress onto fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion.

The pro­gramme will al­low learn­ers to de­velop their cater­ing skills in a holis­tic and sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment and pro­vides an al­ter­na­tive route into fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion.

“This will suit early school leavers who per­haps aren’t suited to tra­di­tional school­ing meth­ods, and we have a much more re­laxed at­ti­tude to learn­ing,” adds Karen Har­ri­son from Boomerang.

“The pro­gramme will give learn­ers the op­por­tu­nity to work along­side pro­fes­sional skilled chiefs who will pro­vide them with the guid­ance to de­velop a valu­able ca­reer skillset and pos­i­tive life­style habits.” There are nine cater­ing themed mod­ules which will also pre­pare the learner to progress to QQI Level 5 Culi­nary Skills cour­ses, should this be their am­bi­tion. The course pro­vided a safe, sup­port­ive and chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment for learn­ers to ex­cel in their cater­ing am­bi­tions, through class­room-based ac­tiv­i­ties and hands on work ex­pe­ri­ence with the three pro­gramme part­ners.

And who knows, per­haps there may the of­fer of a job at the end of it!

To ap­ply, con­tact Lor­raine, Michelle or Karen at Boomerang Youth Ser­vice and Café, 62 Fair Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth on 041 9839919.

Caro­line O’Keane (LMETB), Lorna Breen (Rel­ish Café), Barry Carter (Man­ager West­court), Lor­raine McKe­vitt (ESLO Pro­gramme Co­or­di­na­tor) and Karen Har­ri­son ESLO As­sis­tant Co­or­di­na­tor)

Caro­line O’Keane, Carmel Smith and Pa­tri­cia Kelly from LMETB with Ian Walker Youth of­fi­cer for LMETB

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