THE dish is out on Adult Learners’ Week (ALW) and it’s looking good, as apprentice chef’s from TAFE New England prepare a community lunch at the Armidale campus on Monday.
It was a blended celebration showcasing some of the campus’ state-of-the-art catering facilities as well as spreading awareness for ALW, which runs between September 1 to 9, in partnership with Adult Learning Australia.
Head teacher of tourism and hospitality, Helen Steward, was proud to see two-years of culinary experience being put to the test for the students, who come from all walks of life.
“There’s a whole range of age-groups here, it really promotes the benefits of adults coming into a training environment and learning more in order to improve their skills and knowledge.
We’ve got an amazing facility here… a full commercial kitchen and cafe area, an alfresco dining area and a bar facility,” she said.
Ms Steward says the facilities work to foster a rich learning environment for the students, even if they are already working in their chosen field.
“The apprentices that we’ve got here are already in the real-world but their skills in the work-place may be narrow… by coming to TAFE they’re learning a whole bunch of other skills that they can take with them,” she said.
Campus manager, Linda-Jane Brookes, says ALW is a big part of the TAFE calendar because it’s a platform for mature-age students to begin their journey back to learning.
“We have a very high proportion of our students who are adults and they are re-training, having discovered the career they initially embarked on in their earlier years was either not suitable for them, or they’re just looking for a change.
All of our TAFE staff are trained to deal with introducing our learners to all sorts of new technologies, whether that be in the kitchen or in the classroom,” she said.
Acting CEO of Adult Learning Australia, Catherine Devlin says the week is a great opportunity for educational organisations like TAFE to advertise their programs at a grassroots level.
“Adult Learners’ Week is an international festival of adult learning designed to promote the benefits of learning and to re-engage people into learning, making them aware there are various pathways back.
One of the key messages is that learning is a lifelong activity and TAFE is the perfect pathway back into learning for a career change or just if you want to learn new skills,” she said.
Ms Devlin says it is also a chance for people to connect with their community organisations to build new skills and interests.
“You might re-engage through your local community centre through doing a cooking class,” she said.
Students will be cooking for the community until the end of October, to book visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
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