Former Airds High School student, Sadek Saleh, spent one week carting bricks under the harsh Australian sun. It was enough for him to review his career path. Construction was definitely not for him. He enrolled in Hospitality whilst still at school and after two very successful work placements at Sizzler and the University of Western Sydney he discovered a passion for cooking.
On completion of his HSC Sadek was offered an apprenticeship with HTN Hospitality Employment Solutions. HTN then linked Sadek with the Campbelltown Catholic Club who were seeking apprentice chefs. Campbelltown Catholic Club Executive Chef, Paul Rifkin, recalls a very well dressed young man, complete with his own business cards turning up for the interview. Sadek’s impeccable presentation combined with unbridled enthusiasm won him the job. Paul commented that Sadek had a little ‘something’ that set him apart from the others.
(That little ‘something’ had previously won Sadek the position of Managing Director in Premeya, a Young Achiever Australia Company. This is a project run outside of school hours that empowers the next generation of leaders.)
Turning up on day one Sadek had visions of working in a hectic environment with chefs shouting at him but nothing could have been further from the truth. Sadek was welcomed with warmth and respect. The atmosphere was calm and professional and he has thrived. He spends his days preparing food, setting up, cooking and serving customers. Working for such a large and diverse organisation has many benefits offering him variety in the tasks he performs and in various sections of the Club. Sadek says “Everyone here has been very supportive. I am loving it.”
Paul is delighted with Sadek. It is often difficult to find the right person and it’s very important that they fit in with the other 100 plus staff in catering that Paul looks after.
Paul has a 90% retention rate so he’s definitely doing something right with his staff selection. He tailors the work and tasks to suit the individual and has encouraged Sadek at every opportunity. Sadek has already entered two cooking competitions and has learnt a lot.
Both Paul and Sadek value work placement. Paul offers work placement opportunities to many students on the MWLP program. “It’s a great way to interview”, he says.
“It is a fantastic way to get real hands on learning experience. It made me realise early that my heart wasn’t in construction. I couldn’t be happier with where I’m headed” commented Sadek.
Steve Montgomery, MWLP CEO said “Sadek is typical of so many talented young people in the Macarthur area. He just needed an opportunity to thrive and the match with HTN and the Campbelltown Catholic Club is just perfect for all parties”.
Details: MWLP 4625 1863