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Community & Business

29 March, 2023

Hospitality students thank local businesses with scrumptious breakfast

Clifton State High School Year 11 Hospitality students turned on a magnificent breakfast last Thursday morning to thank local industry leaders for their continued support of the School Based Apprenticeship and Vocational Education Programs by providing students with work placement opportunities.

Abbey Marriot shows off the delicious range of breakfast items that were served at the Industry Breakfast.

Twenty-two Year 11 Hospitality students started their school day at 7am and with the guidance of teachers prepared a beautiful hot buffet breakfast and deliciously tempting pastries and sweets for the invited industry leaders to enjoy.

The food on offer was worthy of any restaurant and enjoyed by all as students worked as waiters and cooks, gaining invaluable experience of the hospitality industry.

Clifton State High has been particularly successful with the range of Vocational Educational programs on offer and for a relatively small High School students have a smorgasbord of opportunities. 

Vocational Education subjects on offer include:

  • Fitness Cert II
  • Hospitality Cert II
  • Rural Operations Cert III
  • Horse Care Cert III
  • Business Cert III
  • Engineering Pathways Cert II
  • Furnishings Cert I

Head of Vocational  Education and Training (VET) at Clifton High School, Tina Kahler, said the breakfast event was not only an opportunity to thank those local businesses who already are involved with the program but also to invite others to become involved by providing placement opportunities for students.

Allora Butchery owner, Aaron Vietheer, spoke of the two way benefits of providing placement opportunities for students, commenting on how the students working in his shop provide a welcome sense of fun and help lift the atmosphere in the business.

Year 12 student Claire Keleher spoke of how the butcher’s apprenticeship she has  begun at the Allora Butchery has given her a new lease of life at school as she has regained her enthusiasm for school because of the program.

Claire said she was not interested in pursuing a university course after school and so had begun to lose interest in her school work but now she has regained focus and enjoys school again.

Claire is now recognised by the school as one of the outstanding students engaged in a school based apprenticeship, to the point where the school has nominated her for a Queensland Traineeship Award for School Based Apprenticeships.

Claire is one of three students from the Darling Downs nominated for the award and only one will be selected to eventually compete against students from other regions for the coveted award.

Clifton High School provides full support for students and employers involved in the program with Belinda Naumann working as a Industry Liaison. 

Belinda negotiates with employers, and checks on students involved in  school based apprenticeships or a Vocational Education program.

“School Based apprenticeships and traineeships are a pathway many students usually in years 10, 11 or 12 choose,”Mrs Naumann said.

“The students have the ability to earn a wage with hands on experience, train towards a nationally recognised qualification and study to complete their QCE at the same time.  

“Students who choose this vocational pathway discover their interests, acquire new skills, gain real life experience and often a boost in confidence.”

It would seem that employers taking on school based apprentices or Vocational Education students have much to gain from the experience as Queensland schools have embraced the program over a number of years.

“School based apprenticeship and traineeships in Queensland has increased by 30 per cent since 2017,” Mrs Naumann said.

“Here at Clifton State High School we currently have twenty-two school based apprentices’ and trainees employed through-out our region.

“... Taking on an apprentice or trainee by giving these students realistic exposure to industry can be a cost effective and rewarding way to retain your workforce.  

“In saying that we are also aware that it can be a risk, committing up to four years of wages and effort on a young worker who may leave as soon as they are qualified.  

“A study from April 2022 found that 85 per cent of apprentices stay in employment after completion and 64 per cent of these continued with the same employer.

As the nation and particularly rural regions are experiencing great difficulty in attracting staff at the current time, it would seem advantageous for many employers to become involved in the program. 

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