From the heat of a welder to the chaos of the kitchen, TAFE NSW delivers skills to fuel a Catalina man’s coastal-career relaunch.
According to the ABS more than 12,000 job openings are forecast in tourism-releated industries, such as restaurants and cafes, in the Illawarra, Riverina and Murray between now and 2021.
Mr Wyall made a dramatic career switch to take advantage of forecast growth in the food service sector. Mark Wyall said studying his Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at TAFE NSW Moruya armed him with the skills – and confidence – to thrive in his apprenticeship in a fast-paced café kitchen at Mossy Point.
Research conducted by the Australia’s largest training provider, TAFE NSW, revealed the occupation of chef was among the jobs forecast to have the highest increase in employment in the region. Other areas of employment growth include aged care, childcare, builder and early childhood teacher.
Early in his working life Mr Wyall earned a TAFE NSW qualification as a boiler maker. For many years after that he worked building trailers for tip trucks before trying his hand at processing meat in an abattoir.
Now, the 37-year-old father of two has returned to TAFE NSW to retrain in a different field, proving it’s never too late to gain the skills to relaunch your career.
“I’ve always been passionate about cooking but at the start of my career change I didn’t know how it was going to end up. I have a family to support and working in the kitchen can be stressful,” Mr Wyall said.
“My teachers are very supportive and brilliant at passing on industry knowledge. They teach skills for excellence and success in this industry. They also teach us to keep a level head in a high-pressure environment.
“This course has honestly been life-changing for me, in a positive way.”
Mr Wyall has worked at the Mossy Point Café for most of his apprenticeship and said it was a busy kitchen offering an opportunity to use and hone his new cookery skills.
“I’m going to stick with this career, it’s nice to have my other skills, but in the future I’d like to open a restaurant in Melbourne or become a cooking teacher. With my nationally accredited qualifications I’ll have choices,” he said.
Owner of The Mossy Café Belinda Dorsett said it was valuable that new staff, like Mr Wyall, could start with some hands-on experience and hit the ground, or in this case kitchen, running.
“This industry teaches you many skills for a range of employment opportunities,” Ms Dorsett said.
“As a chef you learn how to think on your feet, do many things at once and keep your cool in a stressful environment. Cooking is a life skill you can apply in your personal life and your career.”
To find out more about studying commercial cookery at TAFE NSW or to enrol for semester one 2019, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.