Global food services giant Sodexo has turned to an innovative solution to address local skills shortages by combining FIFO outback training with city-based apprenticeship support.
The Art of Food Apprentice Program, launched in August, is run in collaboration with Apprenticeship Support Australia (ASA) to create an alternate pathway to the traditional apprenticeship model.
Participants complete six months of intensive formal training in Perth through North Metropolitan TAFE before heading to mine sites to gain practical work experience.
ASA Manager Lena Constantine says 19 apprentices have been signed up to the Art of Food program, which is part of ASA’s broader client support for Sodexo’s outback operations. She states:
“Since February 2020 we have completed in excess of 200 sign-ups across their hospitality, business, cleaning and leadership and management operations at outback sites. We’re thrilled to now also be supporting Sodexo’s Art of Food program, which is an innovative way to address their skill shortage needs and look at different ways to upskill their staff.”
ASA’s services include assisting Sodexo with sign-ups, reporting, in-training and recruitment services.
Sodexo said Art in Food offers participants complete a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery through practical training on Sodexo sites.
Following the initial intake of 19 apprentices, a secondary intake has already been scheduled for Semester One 2022, with plans to support two intakes each year and replicate the program in other states, the company said.
“Sodexo Australia has partnered with Apprenticeship Support Australia, to support traineeship and apprenticeship indentures across a wide range of vocational areas throughout our business,” says Darren Hedley, Sodexo Australia CEO Energy & Resources.
“With a dedicated local presence, ASA is able to provide flexible and timely support to our valued trainees and apprentices and their managers throughout regional areas. “At Sodexo, we believe that trainees and apprentices benefit from holistic support throughout their training experiences, of which ASA is central in providing.”
Patrick O’Brien, North Metropolitan TAFE Director Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Personal Services, says: “This is the first time a training model like this has been made available in Australia, and we are proud to be at the forefront of these training innovations.”
ASA can facilitate employment, manage training and offer support and advice to companies seeking apprentices to boost their workforce.
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