Pingelly hospitality training collaboration – a case study in “thin market” training delivery

With our Pingelly hospitality students halfway through their training, the Local Jobs Program team organised an employer meet up event in October with three local hospitality employers, who shared their own journey in the industry and some advice and tips to candidates starting out. Our Employment Facilitator, Emma Everett, facilitating the event, encouraged the students to pop into local businesses to introduce themselves and congratulated them on their progress so far.

The Pingelly hospitality training project has been positive for the students who attended and welcomed by local employers. Since the training began, two local students have started part time work, and two other students have now met employers through the program and been offered local employment. The process also uncovered other local training venues and qualified trainers in the region, with follow up training opportunities under discussion in Narrogin for 2023.

However, delivering training in regional locations continues to present some challenges. Using this collaboration as a case study, the Local Jobs Program team and other stakeholders are reviewing and learning from these obstacles to support future training course outcomes in other Wheatbelt locations. Some regular “thin market” challenges include:

  • Course timing: The preferred start time and duration of courses can be different for each potential cohort of learners. For example, Semester-length part time courses are well suited to young people (who may also be at school several days/week), while shorter skill set courses are preferred by adult learners, who are less likely to organise their work and training around a school semester timeframe.
  • Course funding: Some cohorts of learners may not be eligible for government funded training courses. In our region there is great interest from year 10 District High School students to try some vocational training courses, however they don’t become eligible for free/discounted courses until year 11.
  • Support and wraparound needs for learners: For some candidates, practical support like transport and childcare can hinder the uptake of training, while others might need extra support to complete the academic component of the training material.

Potential solutions:

  • Mapping the needs and funding available for each learner cohort will help our teams to identify gaps in timing and funding early
  • Where funding gaps exist, local business sponsorship is one potential opportunity to make more training places available
  • Sharing training needs between various stakeholders regularly to monitor demand for different training courses  
  • Exploring widely for training product options available in the region

While our “thin market” presents some unique challenges to training delivery, we are confident that these challenges are no match for the resourcefulness, creativity and commitment of the Wheatbelt business community. With our local stakeholder networks actively sharing information on training demand and availability, and our Wheatbelt Training Survey coming soon, we look forward to supporting more local job training for our Wheatbelt communities in 2023.

Many of the costs associated with running training remain static regardless of the number of participants. We would like to thank the stakeholders involved in this project and especially South Regional TAFE – Narrogin campus for their commitment to our region’s young learners and local employers.