Lifetime ambition: Jera Spencer gets ready for a busy evening in the kitchen at Rupert’s Bar & Grill.
Lifetime ambition: Jera Spencer gets ready for a busy evening in the kitchen at Rupert’s Bar & Grill.

In training for job in hospitality

EVER since Jera Spencer can remember he has wanted to be a chef.

The Year 11 Warwick High School student recently started a school-based traineeship with Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE (SQIT) at Warwick.

Jera is enrolled in Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) where he attends TAFE one day a week and works at Rupert’s Bar and Grill out of school hours from Thursday to Sunday.

“Since I can remember I have been helping Mum in the kitchen,” Jera said. “I love cooking food.

“I want to travel to Europe and work in awesome five-star restaurants.”

Owner of Coachman’s Inn and Rupert’s Bar & Grill Karen Bradshaw said she enjoyed supporting young students from the local region.

“Since opening our restaurant three years ago we have supported student training,” Ms Bradshaw said.

“Will Haidley is in his third year at Rupert’s where he commenced as a school-based apprentice studying through Warwick TAFE.

“I really enjoy watching the students’ progress and love working with their passion for cooking.”

School-based trainees and apprentices attend TAFE one day a week where they learn practical hands-on skills. They learn the theory at their own pace.

TAFE Hospitality teacher Jamie Fischer said TAFE currently has 12 apprentices and 30 trainees enrolled at Stanthorpe, Goondiwindi and Warwick.

“There is a team of six teachers for hospitality, tourism and wine in the region,” Mr Fischer said.

“We have all worked in the industry before so we bring years of experience and knowledge and an excellent understanding of the industry into our training.

“Certificate II in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations) reduces students’ apprenticeship time by 50 per cent. On successful completion, students can go on to complete their apprenticeships in a shorter time frame.”

Hospitality Teacher Rob Hamilton said apprentices were vital because they were the future chefs of the region.

“The success of the industry depends on people embracing apprenticeships and traineeships to enhance the professionalism within the industry,” Mr Hamilton said.

“Qualifications in hospitality can be their ticket to travel the world. They can work on cruise ships or in hotels and casinos.

“But it isn’t for the faint hearted – you need to have excellent communication skills, good stamina and be willing to work out of the normal nine-to-five routine.”



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