The hands-on training is facilitated by catering and camp services contractor, National Catering Services (NCS).
NCS Wafi-Golpu Site Manager, Casper Auro, says it is important to up-skill employees to improve the quality of services to meet clients’ demand.
“NCS has an established training department dedicated to delivering foundation learning skills in literacy and numeracy, trade skills in cookery and bakery, hospitality/accommodation services and business management skills. Integrated into each are workplace health and safety units. There are qualified specialist trainers whose focus is the up-skilling of local employees,” he said.
The trainees are from the three landowner tribes of the Project; Hengambu, Yanta and Babuaf. On October 15, they were trained on preparing salad dishes by NCS Trainer, Paul Basil.
Paul said each trainee would be certified with a Statement of Attainment that is recognised by the Asia Pacific Training Centre (APTC) after successfully completing the required seven modules.
“So far, they’ve completed modules on Use Hygiene Practices for Food Safety, Clean Kitchen Premises and Equipment, Use Food Preparation Equipment, and Prepare Simple Dishes,” he said.
Paul added that the trainees are currently on Preparing Appetizers and Salads and will have to complete Prepare Stock, Sauces and Soup before they would be recognised internally as cooks.
Trainees Kevin Andy and Gibunsung Kikala commented that as locals with no formal education background, this training has helped them improve their skills and knowledge.
They said that the training would help them take up leading roles with NCS in the future.
Casper reiterated the importance of up-skilling locals. “They’ve been in training since last year and once completed they would be qualified internally as Cooks. This will be a huge achievement for them.”
Wafi-Golpu Project’s Administration Coordinator, Kailene Chanei, tasted some of the appetizers and salads and was impressed.
“What the trainees prepared was very tasty and the presentation was such you would find in hotels. Well done. I am proud that through Wafi-Golpu Project, NCS is able to make a change in these young locals’ future livelihood through such training,” Kailene said.
2018 will see the introduction of local trainees to the new NCS Vocational Learning Centre which is based in Malahang, Lae. The VLC centre has a fully equipped training unit kitchen, plant bakery and training room with computer lab. NCS are currently discussing partnership strategies with NTC and APTC, allowing for accreditation.
NCS employees will be able to participate in off-site group training which will be a huge benefit to them, allowing them to meet and participate with other regional NCS staff from sites across the country.