New facilities serve up opportunities for Gladstone students

New facilities serve up opportunities for Gladstone students

More teenagers will be able to pursue their dream of a career in hospitality following the opening of a new training kitchen at Carinity Education Gladstone.

Principal Jane Greenland said the kitchen is a vital ingredient in students’ vocational learning, providing new opportunities for young people to excel in the fields of hospitality and food preparation.

“The multi-use kitchen facility is being utilised by students undertaking training at school to achieve certificate qualifications in hospitality,” she said.

“Fresh and healthy meals and beverages for students and staff are prepared in the kitchen, which can also be used for catering for school and community functions.”

Previously, Carinity Gladstone students undertaking certificate courses in hospitality had to travel the three-hour round trip to Rockhampton to complete their assessment.

Local hospitality students have been guided by cook Ryan King, who has worked in hospitality throughout Europe, south-east Asia and Australia.

He said the school kitchen, featuring a walk-in fridge/freezer, stainless steel benches, modern equipment and ovens that are common in most commercial kitchens, gives students “a real head-start with their future career”.

“Having a working commercial kitchen enables students to experience working in the industry, giving them the confidence, knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in hospitality,” Ryan said.

“The students can gain skills using modern cooking equipment commonly used in workplaces such as cafés, hotels, resorts and fast-food outlets.

“It’s an awesome opportunity to get hands-on experience using industry standard equipment and makes cooking for school a lot more enjoyable.”

Jane said vocational training opens up career pathways for students who may struggle with regular schoolwork in the classroom or have previously faced barriers to education.

“Not all students are academically inclined and instead are very good at practical, hands-on work. Undertaking VET training on campus at our school provides students with more career options for life after school,” she said.

The state-of-the-art commercial kitchen is part of a $3.2 million upgrade of buildings on the school campus, including the school’s existing administration building.

“We needed this refurbishment and improvement. As a special assistance school, we are growing rapidly with more than 114 students enrolled, up from just 24 when we started in 2017,” Jane said.