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Blue Mountains hospitality apprenticeship opportunities

Free 5-star training available for would-be hospitality workers in some of the best hotels in the Blue Mountains

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group     Photos: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Would-be hospitality workers can receive 5-star training in the region’s top hotels for free after the State Government scrapped TAFE fees for 100,000 apprentices, saving students about $2000 per course in order to combat the national trades drought.

Escarpment Group of hotels will contribute to the training investment, to be facilitated by the Skilling Australia Fund from July 1, and has invited applicants to submit their details.

The company operates the most awarded resorts in regional NSW including Lilianfels Resort & Spa, Darley’s Restaurant, Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant, the iconic Hydro Majestic Hotel and Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges in the Blue Mountains. Further north, it also owns the historic Convent in the Hunter Valley and the multi award-winning paddock-to-plate restaurant Circa 1876.

Apprenticeships are available in various roles

With 10 busy dining outlets, the need for skills is significant.

Escarpment Group operations manager Adam Holmes said training trades and tourism workers under an apprenticeship enrolment with TAFE would help top up falling worker numbers in the industry.

“Over the past five years the numbers of apprentices has reduced year on year to almost nil and we need more motivated skilled staff for regional tourism to thrive.

“Escarpment Group is a dynamic operator of premium hotels and resorts and needs trainees to future-proof the region for economic growth.’’

Apprenticeships are available in the roles of chef, housekeeping, food and beverage service, customer service and reception.

Mr Holmes, originally from Cronulla and recently returned to Australia from Mauritius, said: “Escarpment Group is the largest tourism employer in the Blue Mountains with numerous staff with experience in some of the top restaurants and hotels in the world, ready and willing to share their knowledge and skills with trainees.

“With five luxury properties across two mature tourism regions, there is plenty of opportunity for growth and diversity in a versatile career that can take you anywhere in the world.’’

Potential apprentices have been invited to submit details to recruitment@escarpmentgroup.com.au.

*Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Apprentices will learn on the job from experienced staff


Blue Mountains: Escarpment Group gives your career the edge

Cocktails in Cats Alley 02

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Young hospitality workers can learn how to take their careers to new heights when Escarpment Group takes part in the TAA Hotel Career Expo in Sydney on May 16.

Those who attend will have the chance to meet influential hotel industry professionals such as Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger, who can explain the many opportunities the luxury collection of hotels has to offer across its four Blue Mountains properties (Lilianfels Resort & Spa along with Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant, Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges and the Hydro Majestic Hotel).

Escarpment Group career (1)“The expo will be a great opportunity to go behind the scenes at hotels such as ours and kick-start a new career in this fast-paced industry where you have the chance to travel around the world, meet lots of people from around the world and work in a rewarding career.’’

The free (although registration is essential) expo would be of interest to high school and university students, existing hotel staff and those looking for a career change.

Hotels are more than just check-in and housekeeping,’’ Mr Bruegger said.Like most hotels, Escarpment Group has lots of departments which ensure the smooth running of our properties, and they are all crucial in making sure our guests have a positive and memorable stay.’’

The hotel industry also stretches beyond major city borders into regional and even remote areas, offering staff further dimensions to their career and experience and authentic and creative hospitality experience.

Majestic Long Lunch 03For example, Escarpment Group had doubled its investment and staff numbers in the Blue Mountains in the past two years.

Staff of all experience levels worked with an international team of professionals and had the opportunity to work at properties across the group.

“While of course theory education is very important and we encourage it, we give our employees, especially the younger ones, practical training alongside those who have worked in the industry for a long time because we believe that learning from example is an experience that money cannot buy,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

Surrounded by the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, staff can also access a lifestyle like no other, spending leisure time exploring Australia’s most accessible wilderness and quaint villages which make up the community.

“It is a constant challenge for regional hotels like ours to attract dedicated skilled workers that are prepared to live in the area. Giving jobs to a local workforce is the ultimate goal,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

Escarpment Group career (6)Workers in the hotel industry on average stay in jobs for just 12 months or less, particularly those aged up to 21.

Escarpment Group, which has approximately 230 employees across its four Blue Mountains properties, hoped to combat the problems associated with a transient workforce with a new scholarship-style program and a first for Australia.

While the details of the new program would be announced shortly, Mr Bruegger said the aim was to foster more training pathways to create a stable, skilled workforce, which would lead to sustainable quality of product and service not just at Escarpment Group hotels but eventually throughout the region.

“This program will be a direct investment in the front and back of house workforce future of Escarpment Group hotels and beyond.’’

The free 2016 Hotel Career Expo will be held at the InterContinental, 117 Macquarie St, Sydney, from 10am to 6pm on May 16.

The expo will include inspiring seminars, exhibits from 20 hotel brands including Escarpment Group, career-focused interactive booths, the opportunity to connect with industry leaders and the chance to win fantastic prizes.

Go to www.hotelcareerexpo.com.au to register.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill MediaEscarpment Group career (2)