South Regional TAFE students impress in Worldskills service challenge

Practice makes perfect: WorldSkills competition contestant Erin Chappell makes cocktails in front of the judges. Photos: Thomas Munday.
Practice makes perfect: WorldSkills competition contestant Erin Chappell makes cocktails in front of the judges. Photos: Thomas Munday.

Hospitality students at South Regional TAFE put their skills to the test for the WorldSkills Australia 2017 Regional Competition in Restaurant Service. 

Six competitors took part in the challenge at the TAFE’s Bunbury campus on Monday. They completed table setting, cocktail making, decanting, lunch service, silver service, coffee making, and wine tasting tasks. 

Three judges – Alison O’Neil (South Regional TAFE), Ben Goodall (Lord Forrest Hotel) and Lance Ugalde (former WorldSkills competitor) – analysed the competitors’ efforts. 

The day marked the final round of the 2017 WorldSkills Regional Competition in the South West. 

The event gave challengers the chance to qualify for 2018’s three-day Worldskills National Championships in Sydney. 

The national winner will then compete in the four-day WorldSkills international competition in Russia. 

South Regional TAFE hospitality lecturer Johnese Mullen said it aimed to give competitors confidence in themselves and their abilities. 

“When they’re doing things without that pressure of time they go: “Yeah, I know how to do this”, but they put themselves under pressure and the things they have learned previously might just fly out the window,” she said.  

“So it’s good for knowing what they can do and also building that confidence, skill, product knowledge, and strength for working out in the industry.” 

Competitor Grace Clarke.

Competitor Grace Clarke.

Ms Mullen praised the partnership between South Regional TAFE and WorldSkills. 

“When the students go into a WorldSkills competition they are exposed to so many wonderful people, amazing experiences and you just don’t where that is going to end up,” she said. 

South Regional TAFE representatives and Department of Training and Workforce Development acting project manager Michelle Robinson observed the event. 

South Regional TAFE training manager Anita Host said the WorldSkills event added to the campus’s extensive hospitality training program.  

“They do their training and certificate levels, but this takes them to another level above that,” she said. "They actually have to demonstrate a higher level of skills and ability; they have to learn how to work under pressure, communicate effectively with their customers.

“They are judged on many aspects of being prepared and organised, it’s really setting them up for being the best they can be within their industry.”