The Food and Hospitality Industry has become one of the biggest employers in our state. It now has attained a much higher status in society and demands high standards of work from its employees. Employment opportunities are many, but eagerly sought by a vast majority of people. For this reason as in any other established business, interviews are conducted. Through these interviews, the interviewer looks for personal qualities and interpersonal skills in a prospective employee to fulfill the job requirements. One of the most important things that an employer looks for are personal qualities. These consist of: a keen attitude, a friendly disposition, neat appearance, a willingness to work, confidence, cleanliness, personal hygiene, deportment (efficient) and honesty, among the many others. Interpersonal skills basically include the ability to interact with people and using initiative to deal with problems which may arise if the customer is not satisfied. If interpersonal and personal skills are exercised then they will greatly contribute to a happy and successfully working environment. This can be accomplished by remembering to keep in mind the fundamental aspect of any catering establishment which is to “Always acknowledge that the customers are the most important people in the business, and nothing is more important than serving them.” – An introduction to catering.
Due to the fact that a large amount of job satisfaction can be found in the food and hospitality industry, jobs are very often sought after. Many who wish to enter the industry usually do so by gaining a apprenticeship . Apprenticeships in the hospitality industry usually last between 2.5 years to 4 years. These apprenticeships mainly consist of ‘on the job training’, combined with full time practical work experience, along with future training at TAFE. Apprenticeships are usually categorized into : bread making and baking, butchering and small goods making, cooking , pastry cooking and waiting. To gain a apprenticeship today in South Australia a person needs to be at least 15 years old. Also the applicant is required to have at least reached year 10, and to have a good grounding in basic mathematics.
Apprenticeships are administered by the state government and before applying for one it is recommended that one registers their interest with a job centre. When a employer takes on a apprentice, there is a probationary period of three months before the contract is signed, this ensures that the employer will permit the apprentice to take time off to attend classes.
Many people belief that apprenticeships and traineeships are the same, however the two do differ some what, for example: The Federal Government have administed traineeships, which last for a minimum of a year, and consists of 13 weeks in off the job training and 39 weeks in employment. Unlike a apprenticeship the minimum age for a traineeship is 16 – 19 years old. On completion of the traineeship, trainees are awarded an Australian Traineeship which provides nationwide industry recognition. The certificate also enables the trainee to qualify for further education and training. In1927 the ACTU came into action for almost all Australian industries. The ACTU provides greater individual negotiation between worker and employer. The trade movement in Australia has provided its members worker collective power to improve their rights and working conditions. Its these trade unions which have had a major impact in the development of industrial law and industrial relation. The main hospitality industry union is the Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous workers union, which has about 250 000 members. Australian trade unionism is characterized by a system of regulation of industrial relations. The Australian trade union in the pass few years has provided its members with collective power to improve their rights and working conditions. It is these trade unions which have played a major role in the development of industrial law and industrial relations.
Unions need to be registered and have rules for their activities. Union members pay membership fees. Trade unions maintain contact with their members through a network of workplace representatives. The union representative can discuss members complaints with the employer. The union also provides legal assistance, and keeps them informed in workplace health and safety issues. Legislation’s is laws which have been passed by the Federal and State Government to control conflicts which may arise in the work place. An example of this is the industrial relations act which creates the Australian industrial relations commission ( the IRC ) The IRC deals with industrial disputes and approving settlements. This usually results in the creation of variation of awards and agreements. Before a legislation is pass it must first go thorough both houses of parliament. Rules are sets of principals and guidelines for a legislation. It is the awards and agreements in the Hospitality Industry which set the legal minimum wages and working conditions for specified occupations. Awards outline: the minimum wage to be paid for the job, the maximum hours to be worked, public holidays and sick leave rights, superannuation rights, the length of notice to be given, and any payments to be made when the employee is retrenched. These awards and agreements are set by the Government and in no way can be negotiated. They can however be negotiated in awards such as the Hotels, Resorts and Hospitality Industry Award, in regards that over award payments can be negotiated by any employee.
Union officials and Government inspectors are enable to examine time and wages records to ensure that employees are being paid correctly. State awards cover employees of hotel, motels and casinos in the parts of Australia that don’t fall under the Federal Hotels Awards. As a result of the awards employees have a obligation to: Follow all reasonable commands that relate to their employment, to perform there jobs in a competent manner, work at a reasonable standard of competence, preserve confidentiality and to work the hours agreed in accordance with awards or agreements. Where as Employers have a obligation to: Pay for work performed, pay full wages when the employee is ill, pay for any loss or injury to a third party caused by an employee’s action at work, observe statutory obligations, provide suitable amenities, provide work appropriate to the employee’s skill and to provide a safe, hygienic workplace.
Enterprise bargaining was introduced through a new legislation in 1991 which provides employers and employees with the opportunity to enter individual enterprise agreements. Where a agreement cannot be reached the relevant award continues to apply. However there are a few restrictions such as: The hourly rate of pay for ordinary time can’t be under the level set by the award, the agreement cant stipulate more than 40 hours of work per week and it has to provide a minimum sick leave period on full pay each year. Also the Annual Holiday Act of 1994 and the Long Service Leave Acts and the Employment Protection Acts of 1983 need to be complied with. A few acts and regulations are: Commonwealth industrial Relations Act 1988, and the Industrial and employee relations act 1994 As regards to opportunities for career development an training, employees have to undergo training to qualify for increased wages and access to career paths. It is essential, especially in the hospitality industry that all employees are multi – skilled.