Gold Coast businesses encouraged to give work experience to local job seekers

Imagine going to all the effort of completing a course or degree but then not being able to secure employment in that field because you have no work experience.

Well that’s commonly the case for job seekers including Gold Coast local Francisco Quiroz who had undertaken a Barista course with hopes to secure his dream job.

“I’ve been looking for work for over a year now. When I approached businesses around the area for work, they didn’t want to hire me because they wanted me to have existing experience to work in their fast paced environment,” Francisco said.

“Which I completely understand, but I don’t think they realise that you need to get experience somewhere to start off.”

Luckily for Francisco, a local community orientated café called The Department of Coffee have taken it upon themselves to help give him and other job seekers the work experience needed to help make them more employable.

Dept. of Coffee owner Jacqui Kelly said the idea came about just before Christmas when her Café was approached by three young people in the same day looking for a job.

“They had completed a Barista course, had great personalities and everything else – but just didn’t have the hands-on skills to step in behind the counter. So it got me thinking, what can we do that’s going to help local people get the experience they need?” Ms Kelly said.

So Ms Kelly approached local employment and training provider ETC to work out a plan.

“ETC is providing the training modules such as Make Espresso Coffee and Safe Food Handling and then the Department of Coffee provides the hands-on training component for 4 weeks. What they have also done is reduce the price of coffee during this time so that people can come and enjoy one of the training beverages. So then the students have experienced real training in a real life work environment,” said ETC Business Relationship Manager Rachel Dow.

Ms Kelly said she was proud to be able to give back to the local community.

“Even though it’s not a huge thing, my husband and I are both really wanted to do the right thing for our community and young people that want to have a go. We have had such a fun time and get a few laughs out of it,” she said.

“The community has been so appreciative of what we are doing and are very supportive. I’ve had messages from people that I’ve never met before saying how proud they are of us. It always feels good when you’re giving something to someone else with no expectation in return.”

“I’m thinking if we can do it as a small café then there has to be places bigger than us that can do the same thing.”

Francisco said he really enjoyed the training and thanked Dept. of Coffee for giving him the opportunity.

“It’s really good to have a place that you can actually practise. Even though I’ve read about how to do the coffee through the course I completed – to actually make the coffee is important,” he said.

“It’s really good that the owners here realise that us beginner Baristas really need the opportunity to practise. I think this is a great initiative and I would like to see this more around the Gold Coast.”

Ms Kelly thanked ETC for helping them bring the idea to fruition.

“The girls at ETC have been amazing. They’ve helped me run with the idea and develop it. I wasn’t quite sure about the details and needed someone to bounce that all off and that’s where ETC has been an amazing help. ETC has taken some weight off my shoulders by helping to provide the trainee staff,” she said.

ETC’s Business Relationship Manager Rachel Dow encouraged other businesses to get on board with this type of training.

“ETC offers accredited training in the areas of Community Services (Aged Care, Childcare), Retail, Hospitality and Business. We have trainers that can come on-site and provide the training for you, so you don’t need a staff member to be taken away from their regular duties,” Ms Dow said.

For further information contact Rachel Dow on 0447 154 476 or visit http://www.etcltd.com.au/training/

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