Crown Melbourne will fund 1,000 places in a hospitality training course to help boost the state's skilled workforce.

The skills shortage in Victoria has been given a boost with Crown Melbourne providing support to a plan to offer 1,000 free and paid places in a hospitality training course conducted at Crown College.

The paid training places come after the hotel joined forces with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and the Australian Hotels Association to help a sector desperately struggling to fill jobs with skilled workers. The lack of skilled staff has been exacerbated by COVID-19 which has seen thousands of workers stood down by the pandemic flee the industry in favour of more secure work.

Up to 1,000 applicants to the Beverage Skills Pathway Program will receive free training at Crown College before being matched by July 2022 with an employer with vacancies to fill.

Crown College has been in operation for 25 years.

The course will be open to any resident of the state of Victoria and will see students trained in many industry disciplines including food and beverage fundamentals, customer service, service sequencing and cocktail making. Students will also be educated on a variety of provenance stories from across the state, including local suppliers, growers and major features of Victoria’s regional areas.

Crown Melbourne General Manager of Food and Beverage, Enda Cunningham, said the company has a role to play in helping the Victorian industry boost its talent pool in order to ensure the sector is able to draw upon the staff it needs.

“COVID-19 has been incredibly hard on hospitality,” Cunningham said.

Crown Resorts Executive General Manager – Food and Beverage, Enda Cunningham with trainee chefs.
Image: Wayne Taylor

“The skill standard right across our industry ultimately benefits us all, and with the scale that we have at Crown and our training facilities – we are proud to be able to contribute and help the industry get back on track by upskilling a thousand workers.”

Victorian Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Paul Guerra, said that providing the skills needed to expedite the industry’s recovery in the state will provide a major boost to employers.

“Businesses have not just been forced to close for months on end; they also lost some of their best talent who were forced to look for work in other industries,” Guerra said.

“Crown is known for its training standards and is a major hospitality employer in Australia. Providing that training for the rest of the industry to benefit will help lift the industry and kick-start its recovery.”