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Northern jobseekers cooking with confidence

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Northern jobseekers cooking with confidence
Published 31 August 2017
A link between a local employment provider and TAFE SA has Playford residents cooking with confidence.

A link between a local employment provider and TAFE SA has Playford residents cooking with confidence. ^^ Michelle McConnell's horizons have broadened following her involvement in a TAFE SA cooking course at Elizabeth. Photo: Rob McLeanWhen an injury limited Michelle McConnell’s work opportunities, the Munno Para woman turned to not-for-profit organisation Community Bridging Services to improve her employment choices.

Over the past 18 months, CBS has developed a relationship with TAFE SA at Elizabeth, helping its clients study and increase their employability.

The link has seen 60 clients study either a Certificate II in Information Digital Media Technology or Certificate II Kitchen Operations with TAFE SA.

CBS employment officer Joan Halls said the program aims to get people into jobs and, as such, some Kitchen Operations students have completed work placements at businesses such as Estia Health Craigmore, Gawler’s Golden Fleece Hotel and Calvary Central Districts Hospital at Elizabeth Vale.

“Some of the students will possibly get a position, but the life experience – learning and cooking, making friends and contacts – is very important,” Joan said.

“I see big changes – an increase in self-worth and confidence. People are gaining life skills and learning how to cook.”

The six month, two days a week course sees CBS clients preparing meals for each other and large groups, as well as conducting cooking classes.

Due to the training, Michelle has not only gained skills but broadened her horizons.

“For me, if I want to go into the industry, this is now a realistic possibility,” Michelle said.

“I’ve already been offered a job. I now know I won’t be unemployed and I won’t have to wonder about ‘what I’m going to do now'.

Even her home life, where she acts as a carer, has taken a new direction.

“I’ll be doing something at home in the kitchen and I will realise I’m using things I have learnt – techniques in the kitchen,” she said.

All the CBS clients who have undertaken the programs are residents of the Playford area, with several gaining employment and many others moving into further study.

For more information about the opportunities that can be provided by CBS, contact Fran Christison (8259 2500 or fran.christison@cbsinc.org.au).