Hospitality Jump Start for Jobs success story

An innovative and hands-on job skills program has ignited a passion for Yarra Ranges hospitality and tourism for Damien Bongouvert and provided him with much to hone and look forward to when the region re-opens to the hundreds of thousands of visitors it normally welcomes each year.

The 23-year-old has already applied some of his new expertise at his uncle’s vineyard and restaurant at Seville and equally importantly the opportunity has provided him with the confidence and pathway to secure an on-site traineeship in hospitality.

‘I never imagined I would have had these kinds of opportunities when I moved to Australia,’ said Damien who has been working at Killara Estate since arriving from France at the start of the year,  but only after his mandatory two week’s hotel quarantine.

During a timely out-of-lockdown period, the 23-year-old enthusiastically participated in the Hospitality Jump Start for Jobs program, a joint initiative between Yarra Ranges Council, Cire Services and Box Hill Institute Lilydale. He then had a window just before the current lockdown to apply his new front-of-house skills at Killara’s restaurant and was delighted by just how much he had learned.

“The course was totally hands on, covering barista training, food and beverage skills and customer service and responsible serving of alcohol (RSA). The skills are so important to have in any restaurant setting and I was really proud to use them confidently at Killara,” said Damien.

“As part of the front-of-house course Cire had a pop-up cafe day where we served lunch prepared by Kitchen Skills students.  It was great experience and also a fun way to apply our learning.”

Manager of the Killara Estate restaurant, Kevin Sheehan said Damien had really benefitted from the Jump Start for Jobs program with a new level of competence and knowledge of the sector, and confidence. Kevin described the Jump Start for Jobs program as a great initiative to help the region’s hospitality and tourism sector rebound from COVID.

“The impact of COVID has been devastating and it is vital that we draw on everything we can to work towards a great future,” Kevin said.

The Hospitality Jump Start for Jobs program comprises two face-to-face training courses focusing on Front of House and Kitchen Skills to help local people learn the essential skills most needed by the region’s hospitality and tourism sector.  Each of the week-long courses is free to those who are unemployed or underemployed and include certificate level components such as RSA. Front of House is conveniently delivered by Cire Training at Cire’s Chirnside Park Community Hub and Kitchen Skills at Box Hill Lilydale’s lakeside campus.

Keen to build a life for himself in Australia, Damien initially consulted a careers advisor at Box Hill Institute Lilydale who recommended Jump Start for Jobs and then the traineeship.

“It was a perfect fit because I was already working for my uncle and wanted to improve my skills and what I could contribute to the business,” said Damien adding that Killara’s restaurant can seat up to 120 people.

“Everyone in the program has been so helpful and encouraging.”

With an Ozzie mum and French father, Damien is from Perpignan at the foot of the Pyrenees and the last major French city before the Spanish border. Damien has often visited Australia to catch up with relatives and particularly loves the Yarra Valley and “the stunning views from Killara Estate”.  He is excited to be upskilling to help the region’s hospitality and tourism sector rebound from COVID.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Fiona McAllister said:  “Hospitality and tourism businesses are at the heart of our Yarra Ranges lifestyle and economy. Our cafés, restaurants, vineyards, gardens and other attractions draw thousands of visitors to the hills and valleys, and makes our region such a vibrant place to live.

“Having local training providers like Cire and Box Hill Institute means that community members can learn skills locally, then put their hands up for jobs locally and put those skills to the test.”

Due to on-going lockdowns, local businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry have had to stand down employees, many of whom have sought alternative jobs where possible. The Hospitality Jump Start for Jobs program helps boost confidence in the sector that they will have access to local staff with appropriate skills when the sector re-opens.

According to Victorian Government pre-COVID statistics, tourism in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges was estimated to be worth $778 million in 2018/19, representing 7.8 per cent of the region’s economy. It generated employment of approximately 9,300 people, 9.1 per cent of the region’s employment, directly and indirectly.

The Yarra Valley and Dandenong ranges is the second largest tourist destination in Victoria outside of Melbourne with approx. 6.6 million international and domestic visitors in a normal year.

New changes to Government course funding- How it can affect you

Skills First is the Victorian Government’s Funding Strategy aimed at supporting and upskilling Victorians. It includes the funding of qualifications which are delivered through traineeships, apprenticeships and classroom delivered programs. The impacts on an individual’s eligibility for a funded place, are discussed here. It is advised that you consider the location of the choice delivery, availability and cost of a course. Information about client feedback and what successful completion meant to the student is also something worth considering. Training should be about gaining skills that directly support your ability to get a job.

The Government is committed to improving the quality of government-funded training in Victoria and in line with the Education State Agenda. Only Training Providers with a proven track record of quality training delivery have been offered a 2018-2019 VET Funding Contract. Cire Training, (formerly Upper Yarra Community House) has been operating as a Registered Training Provider (RTO) since 1992, delivering a range of training and qualifications to the community. Cire Training was audited in November 2017 and has been offered a contract for the Skills First Funding program for 2018-2019.

The Department has restricted the number of places offered to every training provider who delivers qualifications where the anticipated commencements are significantly in excess of projected jobs and training needs.

The Skills First Contract is designed to provide high-quality skills in the areas where there are jobs available. It is important, as a prospective student, that you do not waste your funding entitlement on a qualification that may not enable you to achieve improved employment outcomes or a job. If you are unsure contact Cire Training to speak to an enrolment officer.

Cire Training regularly offers short industry taster courses where you can find out about different industries. Look out for our ‘Plan your career courses’ which include a tour of the sites where the courses are delivered and the current work pathways. This will give you an idea if this field is where you want to study and work.

Restrictions to enrolments in the following qualifications now apply to RTO classroom-based programs. If you are offered a Traineeship in one of the qualifications there are no restrictions. The six restricted qualifications are:

  • CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media
  • CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care*
  • MSS40316 Certificate IV in Competitive Systems and Practices
  • CHC30113 Certificate III in Childhood Education and Care*
  • HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.

*If you do want to enrol in one of these qualifications you should contact Cire Training on 9736 1457 now, to find out if the course is suitable for you and to secure your place.

Skills First also offers the Reconnect Program which is designed to provide additional support for unemployed people who are finding it hard to secure a job, or who really do not know where to start. Cire Training can provide a range of supports and has special programs for men and women who need help with goal setting, determining career direction and applying for a job. If you need some help or just want someone to talk to, contact Michelle Spokes or Sammy Egan on 9736 1457 today, and get 2018 off to a positive start.


Applied learning – preparing students for employment

We hear a lot about the benefits of ‘applied learning’ in schools and among teachers and academics, however it is often not clear what this refers to. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority describe applied learning as an approach, which emphasises the relevance of what is being learnt to the ‘real world’; the world outside ‘the classroom’. Applied learning involves students and their teachers in partnerships and connections with organisations and individuals outside the school.

Applied learning works with the learner in a holistic manner, taking into account their personal strengths, interests, goals and previous experiences. Applied learning acknowledges that part of the transition from school to work is being treated as an adult and that moving students out of the classroom to learn also means helping them to make a shift to become more independent and responsible for their own learning.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is often described as applied learning. This is because training aligns with adult learning principles and focuses on skills and knowledge required by the workplace. VET also works in partnership with industry to make sure that graduates are work ready.

Applied learning in VET is practical and hands-on developing skills and safe work practices. Many VET courses require a mandatory work placement where the student is able to apply their learning in a real workplace. Work placements are also an opportunity to develop employability skills and to gain exposure to potential employers.

If you’re not sure about your choice of course in VET, Cire Training advises that you undertake an Industry Taster or Career Planning course to see if the career path is right for you.

Tim Broderick, Landscape Trainer at Swinburne Institute of Technology, recently spoke about the joint project at Silvan Primary School and students from the Cire Community School.

‘Over the last 10 weeks, I have had the privilege of working with a group of students from Cire Training in conjunction with Swinburne Institute of Technology. The students and myself 10 planters boxes 1800mm x 1800mm x 400mm, installed soil, herbs and plants for a colourful and professional finish. The result was a great kitchen garden for the Silvan Primary School’.

‘Students were able to understand what it is like to work on a building site and learn the tricks of the trade. Most were able to learn from their mistakes and work well together. They should all be very proud of what they were able to produce, something they can look back at in time and say, “I built that”!

This is an excellent example of applied learning in action. It is also representative of how Cire Services supports our youth to achieve success and build real skills for potential jobs and careers.

For further information on Cire Community School and VET courses call 1300 835 235.


Finding the most suitable training option for you

Skills First is a government-funded vocational education and training program that is accessible to people who do not hold a post-school qualification, or who want to gain a higher level qualification than they already hold. TAFE’s and Learn Locals may be able to offer an exemption, therefore the best advice would be to speak to them first.

If you are eligible for government subsidised training through the eligibility criteria, the government will contribute to the cost of training. It is smart to use your entitlements before you consider accruing a debt. If you are not sure, speak to the people who can provide advice about the training, its potential job outcomes and your needs.

I wanted to do training that would get me a job. Living in Millgrove made it really hard to know what to do. One day I received a call from a telemarketer who invited me to an interview in Lilydale. I went along and they talked about hairdressing, beauty and nail technology. I thought that I could do this and perhaps run my business from home in Millgrove. I said I would like more information and signed some forms.

The next thing I knew I was enrolled in a course that was delivered in the city. Millgrove to the City is a 3 -4 hour trip by public transport. There was no way I could do that.

I did not attend any classes. The next thing I found out was that I had, not one, but two VET Fee Help Debts. I really wish I knew what I was signing up for!

I called into Cire Service Inc to talk about my situation. They were really helpful and discussed job opportunities and careers that I could possibly do in the Yarra Valley. They also had the option to offer an exemption which meant that I would be able to do a course that was government funded and much cheaper than the big debt that I had accrued from my meeting about beauty and hairdressing. Mary – Student (Millgrove)

What to consider before enrolling:

  • Ensure the course you wish to enrol in aligns with your career and further study aspirations. For information about finding a VET option that suits you, see
  • Ensure the delivery strategy meets your study and work/ life balance. If you live in a regional area, consider what is available locally.
  • Understand the eligibility criteria (see below for more information)
  • Read more about the education and training you need for the job you want and improve your knowledge and skill in an area that interests you. training/learning
  • Research your training provider and training options on

Eligibility Criteria:

Students may be eligible for funding through the Skills First Program if they meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Australian Citizen or Permanent visa holder or a New Zealand Citizen
  • Must reside in the state of Victoria
  • Not be currently enrolled in two or more Victorian Government-subsidised courses in the current year.
  • Have not commenced more than two Government-subsidised courses in a calendar year.
  • Have not commenced a maximum of two subsidised courses at the same level in your lifetime. This restriction applies whether or not you complete the course.
  • Over 20 years of age (as at 1 January in the year of commencement of training) and seeking to enrol in nationally recognised training in a course that is at a higher qualification level than the highest qualification held at the time of the scheduled commencement of training.

If you wish to seek further clarification regarding eligibility contact our office on 1300 835 235 or you may wish to access the funding eligibility indicator click here.

You can only commence a maximum of two subsidised courses at the same level in your lifetime. This restriction applies whether or not you complete the course.

The restriction does not apply to:

  • courses on the Foundation Skills List.
  • students recommencing training in the same qualification at the same or different provider.

In exceptional circumstances, you can apply to the Department for an exemption to the lifetime limit of two commencements at the same level.

Enrolment Process

The enrolment process at Cire Services has been designed to assist you in finding the best possible course for your needs.

  • Register your expression of interest for a course via our online expression of interest form or contact our office on 1300 835 235.
  • Our reception staff can provide some information, however, we recommend that you come in to talk to one of our enrolment officers who can discuss your goals, check eligibility and provide advice to support you to select the best pathway for you. At this pre-training session, you will discuss your goals and the training offered by Cire Services to assist you with making an informed decision about which program best meets your requirements
  • All students are required to undertake a Language, Literacy and Numeracy test. The purpose of this information is to provide us with information so that we can support you to successfully complete your chosen course. You are also provided with a quote for the course fees and some suggested industry taster and study courses also offered by Cire Training. Once you have completed your enrolment form and paid your fees a confirmation of enrolment letter is sent to you with the course details, starting date and time.
  • Cire training is here to support you every step of the way.


Cire Services Inc can offer a limited number of exemptions to students who have undertaken a qualification previously that was not aligned with their needs. This is a limited arrangement with the Victorian Government and cannot be taken lightly. Speak with an enrolment officer today about your needs and whether we are able to assist.

Where will the projected job growth be in our region by 2020?

Every year the Department of Employment publishes an employment projection for the next four years in regards to industry, occupation, skill level and region. These projections can be used to guide the future labour market. Of course, as with all projections, they are subject to a degree of variation.

The Employment Outlook to November 2020 provides an overview of the employment outlook across industries, occupations, states and territories, and regions forecast to 2020.

It is anticipated that in the next four years to November 2020, total employment in Australia will increase by 989,700 jobs – nearly one million positions in round numbers. Most new jobs created between now and 2020 will require tertiary qualifications. Of the one million new jobs projected, almost half will require certificate or diploma level qualifications.

So, how does the employment projection look for Melbourne’s Outer East?

For the Melbourne Outer East region, the number of people employed is expected to rise to 294,900 by November 2020 for all industries comparing to the November 2015 trend of 268,200. This is a projected employment growth of 26,600.

Melbourne outer east total

Where will the new jobs be?

Top six industries that will see growth in our region are:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Construction
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Education and Training
  • Retail Trade

Melbourne outer east graph

Health Care and Social Assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s. Over the next five years, employment in the industry is projected to increase by 250,200 (or 16.4 per cent). Factors contributing to this strong projected growth include the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Australia’s ageing population, and increasing demand for childcare and home based care services. Employment growth in this industry is likely to favour part-time and female workers.

Cire Training offers a  CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support, which can give you the skills required to confidently support people in living in their own home or a care facility. Cire Training also offers courses in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) at a Certificate III level and a diploma level. Both of these courses provide the skills to care for and support the development of young children from infancy through to 12 years of age. A diploma in this field can lead to management and development roles.

Construction industry employment is projected to grow by 87,000 (or 8.3 per cent) over the five years to November 2020. A strong rise in residential building construction and low interest rates has supported the growth in this industry.

Cire Training offers a White Card course CPCCOHS1001A Work Safely in the Construction Industry, a general construction induction course, which ensures that anyone entering a worksite are Worksafe approved.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services employment is expected to increase by 151,200 (or 14.8 per cent) over the five years to November 2020, the second largest increase of any industry. The high growth rate reflects the growing demand for qualified and highly educated individuals.

Cire Training offers a BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management which is best suited to individuals who are engaged to manage the work of others or to add value to or review management practices. Typically people in these roles will have considerable experience in their respective industries or vocational areas and combine an informed perspective of specific work requirements with their managerial approaches.

Accommodation and Food Services industry employment is projected to grow by 12.0 per cent, or 98,800, which is attributed to an improved domestic tourism trade and historically low interest rates.

Cire Training offers Workskills courses in SITHFAB002 Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and equivalent SITXFSA101 Use Hygiene Practices for Food Safety for those wishing to enter the Food Services industry.

Education and Training employment is projected to increase by 121,700 (or 13.0 per cent), with the strong growth being attributed to above average growth in the school aged population, improving strength in the international education sector as a result of the lower Australian dollar, and continuing growth in part-time workers and non-teaching staff.

Cire Training offers a CHC402013 Certificate IV in Education Support, which enables an individual to work within the education system, supporting educational professionals and playing an active role in helping others to learn.

If any of these courses or careers appeals to you, contact one of our Cire Training team today!

Graphs and information supplied by Department of Employment

Lend a Hand and UYCH

Lend a Hand is a not-for-profit (NFP) organisation that provides opportunities for unemployed people to build strong community partnerships by undertaking projects in their community to benefit their community.

Recently UYCH and Lend a Hand embarked on a joint project for the UYCH Family and Children’s Services’ (FACs) Mt Evelyn campus to upgrade a playground. This means that the children who attend the centre will benefit from the work of Lend a Hand volunteers and the volunteers themselves will gain transferable skills to take into employment. The project will take six months to complete and will provide opportunities for a team of ten volunteers to learn new skills and work in their community.

The children at FaCS Mt Evelyn are very happy to see how their playground is shaping up and the Lend a Hand volunteers are happy to have enthusiastic onlookers.

About Lend a Hand
They bring together skilled trades people and the enthusiasm of participants to run projects that allow people to learn and gain valuable experiences whilst making a difference to the community.

Lend a Hand is a Victorian and Queensland based NFP organisation delivering a variety of community projects for the benefit of the public. These projects assist providers to keep case-loaded job seekers safe, create sustainable employment opportunities along with additional Work for the Dole (WFD) openings for jobseekers.

How they operate
They support jobseekers by giving them an opportunity to gain skills and experience with on the job training. Safety is paramount so the provision of appropriate equipment and safety gear is also provided to maintain OH&S requirements.

Now for the best bit, job creation
Offering this service allows Lend a Hand to have a unique point of difference for jobactive providers, by developing sustainable entry level jobs for jobseekers along with added single or group based WFD opportunities as a by-product of using our service.  They will up skill newly employed workers with industry recognised accreditations and certificates moving them on to partner employers to generate additional entry level openings. Many jobseekers have gained the skills required and through this program have gone on to secure permanent employment.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 9.31.52 amFor further information about Lend a Hand call Penny Houben – 0434 003 751 or email or simply visit their website.

Aged care, the new booming industry

The aged care sector is one of the largest growing industries because we have an ageing population. Statistics show that the percentage of the people over 65 years old is predicted to increase by 18 per cent in the next five years. Based on this information you can confidently say that this industry is on the rise, which means more jobs for qualified aged care providers.

Trevor Carr (CEO – Leading Age Services Australia – Victoria LASA) said that “In the next 10 years we are talking about 60,000 more residential care places and infrastructure investment of $30 billion. An additional 30,000 home care places will be required, and when combined with residential growth this will create more than 80,000 additional jobs,”

We have already witnessed an increase of students this year and new aged care facilities being built to accommodate the growing ageing population.

As unemployment rises, people are looking for new career choices which offer job stability and satisfaction. One of the main reasons people decide to enter this profession is due to flexibility is hours and knowing that their contribution has helped people in going about their daily lives.

UYCH Community College and Newly Professional Carers have partnered together to maximise employment outcomes for graduates. Graduates who complete Certificate III in Aged Care and Home and Community Care CHC30212/CHC30312 will have access to to Newly services.

“Newly is very excited to work with UYCH in providing exciting career pathways for those looking to enter the aged care workforce, or even update their skill set.” Tony Pedroso – Newly Communications Manager.

“Once our students graduate they will have the option to meet with Newly who will help them with the next step, finding employment. This means UYCH can offer a complete pathway in this growing industry.” Alison Forbes – UYCH Community College Education and Family Services Manager 

Image of Alison - UYCH Education and Family Services Manager with Linda - Newly General Manager

Linda Meagher (Newly) and Alison Forbes (UYCH)

Our students were given a presentation by Linda Meagher (Newly – General Manager) on the services they provide and feedback we received was very positive. Many students commented on how hard it is to gain employment so having a service that will assist them in this area is a huge benefit.

This is an exciting time for UYCH and our students. Our aim is to provide the best in education and with Newly helping our graduates find employment our aged care pathway is complete.

If you would like to know more about our education services in aged and community care, click here.