Sodexo Brings the ‘Art of Food’ to WA

Published on : 8/31/21
  • In 2021, Sodexo Australia launched a new commercial cookery apprenticeship program in partnership with North Metropolitan TAFE, enabling participants to achieve a Certificate III in Cookery through practical training on Sodexo sites.

    “I’m so grateful for this incredible opportunity to really develop my skills for cookery, while working for such a fantastic company like Sodexo.  Both my father and brother also work with Sodexo, so I’m really excited to make my family proud in achieving a trade qualification in an area that has always been my passion.”
    Neil Jickain, Cert III Commercial Cookery Apprentice
     

     

     

    An expansion of Sodexo’s existing apprenticeship programs, the program, named ‘Art of Food’, is the first of its kind and has been designed as an alternate pathway to the traditional apprenticeship model. The innovative training alternative is being piloted and fully funded by Sodexo across mining sites in Western Australia.  

    Following the pilot, Sodexo plans to support two intakes each year in line with TAFE semester periods, and eventually replicate the program across its operations in other states, in partnership with local registered training organisations (RTOs). 

    The initial pilot includes 19 apprentices, who commenced their orientation off the back of the program’s launch. A secondary intake has already been scheduled for the first semester of 2022.

    Responding to the National Skills Shortage

    Across Australia, many industries are facing the impacts of a national skills shortage. Contributing to this, there were 25 percent fewer apprentices in 2020 than there were in 2013, according to data from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

    The culinary industry is no exception, which is why Sodexo turned to an innovative solution to address local skills shortages by looking at how its remote sites could provide an environment for practical, skills-based training.  

    ‘Art of Food’ is run in collaboration with Apprenticeship Support Australia (ASA) to create an alternate pathway to the traditional apprenticeship model.

    “Our collaboration with North Metropolitan TAFE is our latest initiative to support talent and the next generation entering the hospitality industry. Together, we have created an innovative program which is the first of its kind, covering all requirements of the Nationally Accredited Certificate III Commercial Cookery qualification, while allowing apprentices to harness their practical skills on-site.”
    Darren Hedley, Sodexo Australia CEO Energy & Resources

    The value of practical training

    Program lessons will be delivered and facilitated by TAFE lecturers and experienced industry Chefs on-site, and chef mentors will guide apprentices through the site-based component.

    While the ‘Art of Food’ program will cover all requirements of the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery qualification, it will also focus on training through real-life service provision in Sodexo’s commercial kitchens. 

    The theoretical component will primarily be delivered in North Metro TAFE’s industry-leading facilities over a six-month period, followed by workplace implementation, skills progression and eventual trade competency over the following six to twenty-four months. 

    “Real-world skills-based training is invaluable for apprentices starting out in their careers. With critical shortages in cookery talent across Australia, we need innovative solutions like the Art of Food program to attract more young professionals into this important industry. Like Sodexo, we see incredible value in the translation of essential skills and knowledge into practical capabilities.” 
    Patrick O’Brien, North Metropolitan TAFE Director Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Personal Services