Hospitality students in Dubbo will have more hands-on training than ever, after construction teachers from regional NSW came together to create a tiny mobile cafe.
At the launch of the cafe at Dubbo College Senior Campus on Friday, November 24, 2023 construction teachers and hospitality students came together to unveil the project.
Over a total of 20 days, five days in each location - Moruya, Wagga and Dubbo, 26 VET construction teachers drawn from schools throughout the Wagga Wagga and Tamworth regions helped to build the mobile tiny café.
The construction of the mobile tiny café started at Moruya High School, continued at Wagga Wagga High School, and was completed at Dubbo College Senior Campus.
The finished, ready-for-use mobile tiny cafe will be located at Dubbo College Senior Campus and used to teach VET hospitality students.
Dubbo College Senior Campus hospitality student Jim Richardson will be just one of the students to use the new tiny mobile cafe.
"I've been in hospitality since I was 14, I've been working in catering and that's when I started going to weddings and learning about food and my passion just grew from there," he said.
Mr Richardson then started working in a restaurant, learning from professional chefs.
"I learned how to be an assistant chef, a prep chef, a line cook and even a dish pig," he said.
But, it's his hospitality teachers he credited for teaching him so much.
"Now that we have both the little cafe and campus cafe, we will be able to practically apply all the information we learn in class to a practical setting where we can recreate service, and how we use this in the real world once we leave school," he said.
"I hope that with this information and practical knowledge it will allow me to own restaurants of my own one day."
Hospitality student Caleb Rasmussen said the tiny cafe was a big opportunity for those at the Dubbo College.
"My amazing teacher Mr [Ben] Fox has already taught me so much about working in a coffee trailer, and now we have the training cafe to teach us even more, so we can apply all the industry knowledge that we learn in the classrooms to a real setting," he said.
Dubbo College Senior Campus principal, Marisha Blanco said one of the strengths that her school has was that they were always working to make sure they meet the students needs in terms of post school pathways.
"We obviously do that in terms of an ATAR and going to university but we also have very strong links with local industry and developing local workers," she said.
"So this will allow us to even broaden that capacity of our students before they graduate, especially in the hospitality space."
The cafe will also help the specialist support students to build on their life and employability skills before they graduate, Ms Blanco said.
"We are looking forward to being well fed with having this on site and our students being able to have their industry placements here on site as well," she said.
The tiny cafe will be accessible for other students in public education in smaller schools.
"It's on a trailer so it's transportable and can be used on their school grounds as well, but also allows in the meantime, for it to stay at our school and for us to maximize the use of it," she said .
"It's a pretty cool thing to be able to do when you come to school."
This is the first time the VET Teacher Training Program has delivered an Immersion Program using a three location-staged delivery professional learning model across NSW for regional construction teachers and industry partners.
Construction teacher Peter Deitz said this had been the "most amazing opportunity" they had been given.
"Having this program that's moved around has been phenomenal for us to gain some skills and step outside our comfort zones and undertake tasks we wouldn't normally undertake," he said.
"It gives us those industry skills that we can then take back to our students in school and improve their outcomes there."
Mr Deitz thanked Dubbo College for hosting them throughout the week.
"They've been amazing, letting us use their workshop, borrowing their tools, getting coffee's every morning from the hospitality guys, it's fantastic," he said.