Trainers at Afford’s SLES (School Leaver Employment Support) service go above and beyond to create engaging, educational and inspiring activities to support trainees learn new work skills in a fun environment.

At the end of February this year, trainees approached their Penrith SLES trainer, Sharon, to outline all the skills they want to develop. Their list included practising teamwork, budgeting, money management, cooking and customer service, to name a few.

To help trainees work towards their goals, Sharon recently converted the Penrith site into a functioning café for trainees to develop skills for work in the hospitality industry!

Many trainees are interested in exploring job opportunities in cafes, restaurants and hotels, making this SLES task popular among all participants.

First up, trainees brainstormed a list of all that is involved in running a café. All suggestions and ideas were taken on board and explored.

They used all that they have learned at SLES so far to work out what was needed to make their café run smoothly. They developed a menu based on the individual tastes of each trainee. Then they considered the practical aspects of running a café.

Trainees talked about and set a budget. They discussed timing to prepare, cook and serve food. Most importantly, they worked together to think of a name for the café. The agreed name was SLES Café, and the advertising slogan was: the taste you can Afford.

After creating, menus, order pads and a list of ingredients, trainees headed to the local shops to gather their produce, remembering to stick within their allocated budget.

Back on-site, trainees assigned themselves tasks based on the hospitality roles they wanted to experience.

Senior wait staff, Brody, took his role very seriously. He organised for wait staff, Keira, to set the table ready for service.

As the customers arrived, Brody made sure everyone had a great experience, welcoming his customers and seating them ready to take their orders.

Busy in the kitchen, head Chef Koby directed his sous chefs Lachlan and Isabelle, ensuring that food was made to the highest hygiene standards and all staff in the kitchen were working effectively to keep the orders rolling.

Trainees achieved their goals for the cafe, with all happy customers at the end of the session.

The SLES café experience gave trainees the chance to explore their interests in working in the hospitality industry in a fun and engaging way.

Find out more about Afford’s SLES service and how young job-seekers can develop their skills to become confident workers in the future.


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