2 April 2024

Four weeks of free study equals more skilled workers for local clubs

| Morgan Kenyon
Join the conversation
hospitality trainee at till

ClubsACT has partnered with three other local organisations to provide a new skills-based hospitality program – for free. Photo: ClubACT.

Lack of experience is one of the most common reasons job seekers are turned away from a role, but when industry entrants need experience to get experience, what options do they have?

The first is to pay for expensive and lengthy study, but many job seekers are on a tight budget and unable to shell out hundreds of dollars for a certificate II or III in hospitality.

The second is to seek out work experience and volunteer their time while they build up their skill. It sounds simple enough in theory, but it is unsustainable for most job seekers, and many hospitality venues just won’t do it.

To break the cycle, local industry association ClubsACT has partnered with the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), Belconnen charity UnitingCare Kippax and strategic consultants The Umbrella Collective.

Together, the four organisations have rolled out a free accredited training program focusing on skills development, work experience and employment in ACT licensed clubs.

READ ALSO Solar’s about more than saving money, it’s freedom from the grid and a better future for our children

Twenty participants were brought into the program in early March, funded by the ACT Government’s Skilled to Succeed Innovation Grants program. They will soon graduate with a diverse set of foundation skills, industry experience and accreditations.

Program delivery manager Mel Lyons works to mentor and support participants as they study.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work in the employment and education sector on similar programs for the last five years, so I’ve seen first-hand how successful they can be,” she says.

“Our 2024 hospitality program is specifically designed to support people who are jobseekers, have been unemployed for a long time, or have other barriers in their life keeping them from finding a job or progressing in their industry.

“Each topic is tailored to the licensed club industry and connected to work experience in ClubsACT member venues.”

hospitality trainee at bar

Licensed ClubsACT members support the program by taking on participants for work experience and offering pathways to further employment. Photo: ClubsACT.

Tickets and units of competency in the course include: Provide responsible gambling services (SITHGAM022), Use hygienic practices for food safety (SITXFSA005), Provide responsible service of alcohol (SITHFAB021), Participate in safe food handling practices (SITXFSA006), Operate a bar (SITHFAB023), Provide service to customers (SITSCCS014), Prepare and serve espresso coffee (SITHFAB025), and Process financial transactions (SITXFIN007).

The program also provides local industry with skilled applicants who are willing to learn and well-prepared to enter the workforce.

“These units were chosen carefully to cover a range of roles in licensed clubs, but they’re also transferrable to other areas of the hospitality industry” Mel says.

“Unemployment is quite low in Canberra at the moment, so the job market is very competitive, but hospitality jobs are still seen as temporary or interim roles. We want to boost the profile of hospitality as a career choice with multiple avenues to explore.”

READ ALSO Behind the scenes, Ken Lewis is part of an unseen force making ACT Clubs part of the social fabric

CEO of ClubsACT Craig Shannon says it’s an intense four weeks of study (22 hours per week), but there’s plenty of support available.

“Committing to a full semester is daunting, and many people looking for work can’t afford it,” he says.

“This short course not only helps get them into paid roles faster, but it also prepares them for getting up early, being out most of the day and managing their home life around work.

“For ClubsACT and our partners in this project, it’s a chance to position hospitality as an industry of choice, reduce its currently high turnover and produce dedicated, skilled workers to boost licenced clubs and other hospitality venues around Canberra.”

The ClubsACT 2024 Hospitality Program runs in partnership with CIT, UnitingCare Kippax and The Umbrella Collective. Check out ClubsACT’s other community initiatives online.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

there’s no such thing as ‘responsible gambling services’

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.