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St Johns Park Bowling Club has been named Host Employer of the Year for Kitchen Operations by Southwest Connect in recognition of the positive response from school students who go to the Club for work placement in catering.

The Club was nominated by hospitality teachers at local high schools whose students have been on work placement at St Johns Park Bowling Club on a regular basis in order to qualify for a Vocational Education & Training (VET) course.

The Club was commended for its professional attitude and high level of commitment to training. Teachers reported that Club staff are proactive in giving students a real experience and very conscientious in reporting on students’ progress and achievements. St Johns Park Bowling Club CEO, David Marsh, says his philosophy for training school students is to give them a snap shot of the kitchen operation and the expectations in a workforce environment.

“With changing lifestyles in and out of the workforce and the pressures of working in a commercial kitchen, we need to work with students to prepare them for employment,” he says.

“Also, it is important for our established workers to understand how life is now for young students and act in a mentoring role which is good for their own professional and personal development”.

The students have hands-on experience with training in a variety of kitchen duties and serving customers when appropriate. Through this they gain important food preparation skills and a better understanding of the operation of a large commercial kitchen.

St Johns Park Bowling Club has an extensive catering operation encompassing Saints Brasserie, a cafe and the Canoodle noodle bar as well as catering for the Club’s active functions business.