Today, Andrew Coleman is an enthusiastic and dedicated young man who wants to be a chef on a cruise ship. Andrew is currently undertaking his apprenticeship in Commercial Cookery at the Gingernut Café, Burleigh Heads.
However, it hasn’t always been a clear pathway for Andrew. Three years ago, like many young teenagers, he was struggling to get through Year 10. He’d lost interest in school and frequently found himself in trouble. He had no idea what he wanted to do but none the less made the decision to leave school midterm before he was expelled.
Andrew was 16 years old then and while he picked up small labouring jobs here and there, he had no ambitions or goals and often found himself trying to survive on Centrelink payments.
He realised he was not cut out to be pouring concrete in the blistering heat outdoors but did discover he enjoyed cooking. His parents were worried about him and didn’t know what future he had in front of him.
BUSY At Work, Employment Advisor Donna Dudley is based at the Burleigh Heads Job Services Australia (JSA) branch and said Andrew came to her as a jobseeker, categorised by Centrelink as an early school leaver.
“There’s a real challenge to keep jobseekers engaged as they often become apathetic to their situation and early school leavers are high risk. To help counteract this we regularly conduct a 2 day ‘Turning Point’ course for our jobseekers, based around their mindset and engagement which helps to get them on track working toward their accountability and future direction.
“My priority was to find out what Andrew wanted to do for a job and then work on how to match this with a local job placement, aiming to align him with a minimum of Certificate II qualification.
“Through BUSY’s Apprenticeship program, we were able to match the needs of Andrew with an Apprenticeship position which became available at Gingernut Café in Burleigh Heads.
BUSY’s Industry Training Consultants (ITC) can do all the paperwork for businesses when signing up a trainee or apprenticeship, which is one of the reasons owner/operator of Gingernut Café Julie Davies chooses to use this service.
“We are a busy Café offering an all-round service from burgers to catering for corporate events, funerals and lunch runs so we need a reliable team. A traineeship or apprenticeship provides a future with a real career.
“It also gives me the security of knowing this person is serious in their job, will receive the right training and isn’t going to be a fly by night. Plus it gives me the chance to support our youth and our local community”.
Gingernut Café also has a school based apprentice undertaking the Commercial Cookery qualification.
Andrew said he really enjoyed his new career. “I truly appreciate being part of a team and I’ve learnt so much. I get great training from our Head Chef and Assistant Chef, plus the training organisation comes every fortnight to run through my modules and makes sure I stay on track. Also I live not far from here so it’s worked out perfectly”.
When Andrew is not working back of house at Gingernut Café he shares his culinary skills at home specialising in vegan dishes.
BUSY Job Services Australia (JSA) offices are now based on the Gold Coast and North Brisbane. If you would like to learn more about this service or our Apprenticeship and Traineeship program call BUSY on 13 2879.
Image Caption: Julie Davies pictured with Apprentice Andrew Coleman who is currently undertaking his Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, at the Gingernut Café, Burleigh Heads.
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