Learning the fundamentals of hospitality

Training locals with the fundamentals of hospitality and then supporting them once they find work is the basis of the Serving the Valley project and its key component, Hospitality Hire.

Although this project isn’t eligible for the VicHealth challenge funding, Annder Kelly and Joh Lyons have been busy fine-tuning their idea to get it off the ground.

The pair wants to provide a subsidised short course in hospitality that would connect potential employers with the right employee.

They’ve found a shortage in hospitality training locally and as such, people with the necessary skills.

“Basically we’ve already started networking with the hospitality businesses and we want to keep close with them, create a database, hear about job opportunities, get the right people connected, but we are also very focused on the health and wellbeing of hospitality workers,” Ms Kelly said.

“So obviously in hospitality they work weird hours that can isolate them from their friends, so we want to make sure that we stay connected with the people we train.

“So it’s not just about employment.”

Beyond helping people find suitable work through training, Hospitality Hire will ensure those working hospitality hours have the support and social systems in place.

This could involve access to yoga classes or lawn bowls on a ‘hospitality weekend’, typically a Monday or Tuesday, to reduce social isolation.

“We believe a happy worker is a good worker and I think that will reflect in their work and hopefully strengthen businesses and strengthen Latrobe Valley’s reputation for good customer service,” Ms Kelly said.

Pilot training for Serving the Valley will be offered to local hospitality businesses and their employees free of charge this October and November. If all goes well, the training will be opened to school leavers and the long-term unemployed while it’s rolled out throughout next year.

This pilot project has been funded through the Adult, Community and Further Education Board’s capacity and innovation fund.

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