JUMPING FOR JOY: Hospitality students from the Community in the Kitchen project celebrate in front of Ballina’s Ramada Hotel and a stretch Hummer.
JUMPING FOR JOY: Hospitality students from the Community in the Kitchen project celebrate in front of Ballina’s Ramada Hotel and a stretch Hummer. Patrick Gorbunovs

Course dishes up success for school leavers

A GROUP of young adults had a day of rewards yesterday as they celebrated completing Certificate II in Hospitality through Community in the Kitchen.

Co-ordinator Brooke Cunningham said the Community in the Kitchen program from North Coast Institute of TAFE and YWCA NSW gave early school leavers a supported pathway to employment, mentoring them through any barriers they may have.

"It's a real achievement. It was a challenging course for all of us, and they've done really well," Ms Cunningham said.

On finishing the 16-week course, she said the youngsters walked away with not only a certificate, but employable skills and, most importantly, life skills.

"They've got options," Ms Cunningham said.

The 12 young school leavers spent four months working through the partnership program with TAFE and the YWCA NSW and after graduating on Thursday they got a treat.

Yesterday, the group got taken to Ballina for a day of inspiration.

First they enjoyed a tour of the kitchen and penthouse suite of the Ramada hotel to get an overview of the tourism and hospitality sector, followed by lunch at Lennox Hotel Beef and Bush restaurant and a tenpin bowling expedition, before coming to Goonellabah.

Oh, and all this was done in a stretch Hummer donated for the day by Lennox Hotel.

Ms Cunningham said she was very proud of the group of 12, out of whom three have now secured employment, one is on a waiting list from an employer, one is pursuing a traineeship, and three are looking into continuing on to Certificate III.

One of the new graduates, Hillel Pulley, 19, said he was looking forward to his future career.

"It was an excellent course and I feel like it will have a mad career outcome," he said.

He is looking for a traineeship in hospitality.


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