With skills shortages being seen across Australia, the hospitality sector is no exception. The industry currently faces training gaps and skills shortages, which the ongoing pandemic will only exacerbate. This hasn’t been helped by the problems within the industry in recent years, where prominent restaurants have been at the forefront of employment scandals.

So, to address these gaps, new youth employment programs are set to start bringing more interest from youth back to the hospitality industry. The Restaurant & Catering Association (R&CA), the peak body for Australia’s hospitality industry, have just launched their new PaTH (Prepare, Trial & Hire) Program. The program is targeted at 17–24-year old’s. It will help change the dialogue and perceptions surrounding the hospitality industry, so the newer generations feel more encouraged to become a part of the sector.

The R&CA are hoping their initiative will lead to a reignition of passion and excitement for an industry that has been pushed to the edge through the last 18 months. The program is the very first of its kind in Australia. It encourages equal opportunity within the industry, including introducing more young girls and women to opportunities within the sector.

It will give interns the chance to do three days of face-to-face training to learn the vast range of foundational skills necessary for the industry. After this, they will go on to do four weeks of hands-on work experiences. During which time, they will get to work alongside and be mentored by a range of industry professionals and show off the skills they learnt throughout their training.

Hospitality heavyweight, and the owner of Melbourne’s Caterina’s Cucina e Bar, Caterina Borsato, is one of the many people who are thrilled to participate in the PaTH program.

They are urging other venues to register their interest in the program so that their venues can also develop the newest workers of the hospitality industry. In hospitality, there is nothing better than solid experience and training from day one; this way, every skill learnt can be precise from day dot. If you take the time to train and nurture the young people seeking this pathway, it will open up doors for their future. Young female job seekers especially see this program as a pathway to opportunities in the sector, whether that be being a chef, working front of house, or even running their own restaurants; the possibilities are endless.

Not only is this a pathway that can assist with skills shortages, but it is one with excellent employment prospects for those who complete the program, with the likelihood that they will land a job at the restaurant or café that they complete their program at.

The hospitality industry is looking to build its way back up after a very tough period. However, Australians are well-known for their love of food and fun, and hospitality is at the heart of that. They are looking forward to a new beginning for the industry, including new faces and workers.

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