The PaTH program, as in Prepare, Trial, Hire, aims to provide the long-term unemployed who are otherwise currently on welfare with valuable employability skills before they apply for an internship with the objective of gaining full time employment in hospitality. We discuss what this program means for the hospitality industry and your business.
Since April 1, 7,000 young people have commenced employability training under the PaTH Program. 1,015 internships have started, and 200 young people have gained employment.
While most feel that this program may actually deliver more harm than good, there are few points to consider.
The ultimate aim is to transition unskilled and in most cases, unfortunate youth on welfare that perhaps don’t have the opportunities or pathways to full time employment that others do. We also should consider that a program of this nature, may benefit youth positively and best practice operators at the same time.
How Does the PaTH Program Work?
Approved businesses who take on an intern will receive an upfront payment of $1,000. The internship offers between 15 and 25 hours a week across a period ranging from four to 12 weeks. Successful Interns will receive $200 a fortnight from the government on top of their regular income support.
After the 12 weeks and if the intern is successful and subsequently offered a job, an approved employer may receive up to $10,000 in wage subsidies if the job seeker is taken on as a formal full-time employee.
Considering the current state of skills shortage in our industry, shouldn't we be open to evaluating options to a) upskill workers to support the long term vision for our hospitality businesses and b) help people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to a successful career and a lifestyle that we all dream of?
What is the Downside to the PaTH Program For Hospitality
Clearly we can’t expect everyone to engage in a manner that inspires to grow and lead our youth to want to pursue a career in hospitality. Yes, dodgy operators beware, restaurants, bars and hotels found using the program for the benefit of their own bottom line and who dismiss a young person at the end of the internship only to start the process with another unsuspecting intern will be investigated and is likely to be prevented from getting more funding. You can report a youth abuser or dodgy operator here.
Careers in hospitality are traditionally looked upon unfavorably due to negative workplace culture, especially in our kitchens. In essence, this program has the potential to provide exploitation of young workers in both FOH and BOH.
The question is, is this a venue you want to continue working for that operates like this?
How Can the PaTh Program Help My Business?
Surely, if Australian hospitality businesses are struggling to meet and hire engaged and passionate candidates, that they can benefit from this program to create a positive outcome to support the otherwise unemployable and the less fortunate while supporting the growth of their investment.
It’s up to other best practice employers in our space to nurture the potential young talent that actively want to be involved in PaTH program. Teaching them the valuable pre-employment skills that could include technology literacy, interview techniques, resourcing and the valuable soft skills that could in fact prepare them for work within the dynamic hospitality industry or something else altogether.
Will you make a difference in someone's life who is desperate to make their life better or will you take advantage of them?
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Drawing on 22 years personal experience and over 23,000 professional hours working across Sydney’s hospitality industry, these articles intend to inspire young candidates to join our industry and support aligned operators in building positive employment environments for the aspiring hospitality professional. Please feel free to contact me directly if you feel I could help or if you would like us to cover an important topic or industry matter.