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THE skills shortage has tightened its grip on many of Mackay's businesses and the hospitality industry is no exception.
"There is a big demand for hospitality staff right across the board," MRAEL Group Training Academy administrator Ashleigh Coward said.
"Especially in this region a lot of staff is heading off to the bigger dollars in the mining industry."
To help boost hospitality workers in Mackay, MRAEL is hosting a Hospitality Access Program which will commence on April 17.
It will give people who are interested in starting a new career in the industry the skills they need.
"There are a wide range of career opportunities in the hospitality industry, especially in Mackay and Whitsunday regions," Ms Coward said.
"People can start out working behind the bar and progress to managerial positions or organising events."
Sorbellos Italian Restaurant waiter Caitlyn Bonaventura said the job was incredibly demanding and rewarding.
"On a Friday or Saturday night we can do three turnovers... so we will be serving about 300 customers... and that is just in one night," Ms Bonaventura said.
With almost five years of experience in the industry Ms Bonaventura has a superb knowledge of food, wine and beers.
"You need to have that knowledge to be successful... and you need to have passion. Every customer is different and you have to be prepared to go out of your way to give them the best night."
Ms Bonaventura started out working behind the bar and has progressed to being a Maitre d'.
MRAEL Hospitality Access Program is a free seven-week course designed for anyone looking for employment and wanting to improve their chances at getting a job in the industry.
The course consists of five accredited units from the Certificate II Hospitality Qualification.
Phone MRAEL on 1800 675 049 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.