Hands-on training from the best

SEEING young high school students grow in confidence, gain valuable life skills, and get a taste of working life before leaving school, is a major highlight of the school-based traineeship program undertaken by the Hervey Bay RSL.

(Contributed by Hervey Bay RSL)

School-based trainees are learning valuable skills while on the job at the Hervey Bay RSL. PHOTO: Supplied.

Assistant Manager and HR Manager Janeen Holmes said the placements are designed to provide better employment opportunities for local youth, with most studying a Certificate III in Hospitality and working in the bistro, café and bar area.

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On average, the club takes on 18 school-based trainees per year, with 116 students having had the opportunity to learn and grow at the club between March 2013 and November 2020.

A number of those students who excelled during their traineeships have even gone on to become part of the RSL team.

Janeen said it’s important to give the students an opportunity to learn hands-on skills that will assist them well into the future.

“If they are going to continue to university, they will have more employment opportunities in the cities if they have hospitality skills, and certainly from working at the Hervey Bay RSL Club,” Janeen said.

“It’s also important to retain students in our local community so they can be close to home with support from their parents.

“It is exciting to see our students, during the traineeship, gain confidence and experience to achieve their goals and in general gain life skills by being employed.”

The traineeship takes about a year to complete, which is assisted by a Club Training Australia trainer who comes on site every six weeks for the theory component of the course.

Janeen said the students also have the bonus of being buddied up with some of the most experienced hospitality stars in the region.

Shauna Nicoletti proved herself as a hardworking trainee about five years ago and a result was employed by the club.

She is now a supervisor in Poppies Café and the Sandy Bay Bistro.

Shauna, who was a shy Year 11 Xavier Catholic College student when she started, said she was grateful for the chance to get a feel for the industry in such a supportive environment.

“I was only young, so I didn’t really know what I wanted to do so having the opportunity to come on (as a trainee) and get a feel for what it was like was great,” Shauna said.

“I just love the people and the staff here are just amazing.

“I’m such a shy person and having had that support gave me the confidence to be able to talk to people.”

Shauna said a great aspect of the traineeship was being welcomed into a real-life working environment while gaining a qualification, instead of just sitting in a classroom.

“They didn’t have you just do the paperwork; it was a lot of one-on-one training and if you needed anything you could just ask.

“The study side of it wasn’t just theory it was hands-on.”

By offering this sort of quality training, Janeen said the investment is beneficial for both the individual and the club.

“By training our staff in techniques to perform their job better for the club, staff directly benefit by reduced customer complaints, improved skills to obtain other positions outside of our club, and better promotion opportunities. 

“Often students also receive formal certification to add to their resume.”

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