A new commercial cookery apprenticeship will see students complete practical training at WA mine sites. The pilot program called Art of Food was launched last week and is a partnership between Sodexo and North Metropolitan TAFE and hosts 19 apprentices. Following the pilot, Sodexo will support two intakes each year in line with TAFE semesters. Lessons will be delivered by TAFE lecturers and experienced industry chefs on-site, with chef mentors guiding apprentices through the site-based component. North Metropolitan TAFE hospitality, culinary arts and personal services director Patrick O’Brien said real-world training was invaluable for apprentices. “With critical shortages in cookery talent across Australia, we need innovative solutions like the Art of Food program to attract more young professionals into this important industry,” he said. Commercial cookery apprentice Neil Jickain said the training was an opportunity to develop his cooking skills. “Both my father and brother also work with Sodexo, so I’m really excited to make my family proud in achieving a trade qualification in an area that has always been my passion,” he said. Sodexo Australia energy and resources chief executive Darren Hedley said the pilot allowed apprentices to harness their practical skills on-site.