Home grown training

Article image - Home grown training The Rock Café’ was established at King Island District High School to create authentic 21st century learning skills for its students.

King Island Council will pilot a new vocational technical and further education (TAFE) course hoping to entice local youth to stay on the island.

Funded through the Foundation of Rural and Regional Renewal and sponsored by Dominoes’ Give for Good program, the course will be delivered through TasTAFE. It aims to deliver a Certificate III in Hospitality to students on the Island this academic year.

With 50 per cent of the Island’s workforce over the age of 50, it is imperative that the community entice its youth to stay on the Island, and how better to do that than through an education program that ties into a growth industry.

King Island has seen a significant increase in the number of visitors to the Island since the introduction of two new golf courses. The challenge now is to make sure that golf visitors stay on the Island and don’t just fly in, play their round of golf, and fly out that same day.

Council’s Economic Development Officer, Helen Thomas, said, “My challenge and what I see as being the focus of my job here is to make sure that it is the island that benefits from growth.

“If this Island is going to get an economic boom in terms of tourism, golf and an increase in food production – it should be the Islanders that benefit from it most of all.”

Not only are visitors going to get the quintessential King Island welcome (that laidback, friendly, let me welcome you into my home and tell you where the best fishing spots are), but also the best practice, professional side of the hospitality industry that residents can obtain through the TasTAFE course.

“This presents a fabulous opportunity for people who want to make hospitality a career.”

Past students of King Island District High School who benefitted from the bespoke education program delivered around the School’s Rock Café can now progress their career pathway in hospitality with the new course.