Today I visited TAFE NSW Loftus, where a special Certificate II in Hospitality class is being delivered to clients of the locally based youth charity, Project Youth. The project is aimed at empowering at-risk local youth by arming them with job-ready hospitality skills and work experience.

Project Youth is a not-for-profit group that works with at-risk youth and their families across the Sutherland Shire and St George area.

Project Youth’s charity community café in Menai, named Café Y, has become an inspiring symbol of hope for many struggling young people.

As part of their practical work placement, these young people work in Café Y and apply the hospitality skills they’ve learned at TAFE NSW in a real-world setting.

This doesn’t just help them hone their skills in readiness for paid work, but it provides an invaluable confidence boost.

The NSW Government is proud to be a supporter of Project Youth and it’s wonderful to see TAFE NSW do what it does best, giving people the skills they need to help them gain employment and change their lives.

Having been a hospitality teacher at TAFE NSW, I’m well aware of how profound a difference you can make to a young person’s life by helping them grow their skills and confidence.

As part of the TAFE NSW course, the Project Youth clients learn things like barista skills, basic cooking, customer service, hygiene skills and front of house skills.

According to Job Outlook, the number of café workers nationally surged over the past five years and about 40,000 new job openings are expected to be created over the next five years.

Café Y was honoured with the prestigious “café and takeaway award” at the 2017 Menai District Business Awards.

To find out more about studying at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au.