Release type: Media Release


Eat Real Café providing real skills for young local students


The Hon Warren Entsch MP
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills
Federal Member for McPherson

Local businesses in Cairns are demonstrating the value that vocational education and training (VET) plays in providing clear pathways to jobs and real careers for young Australians.

Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch MP today took Assistant Minister for Vocational Training and Skills Karen Andrews to meet Elsa Comino and the Eat Real Café team to see their disability training program in action.

“It’s great to see businesses here in Cairns recognising the valuable role that VET plays in providing young people with the skills and confidence necessary to help them secure jobs and build careers,” Minister Andrews said.

“Eat Real’s founder, Elsa Comino, has a great commitment to providing opportunities and support for Deaf trainees, and giving young local students the opportunities they need to build skills and gain valuable work experience.

“Like Elsa, the Turnbull Government firmly believes that real skills lead to real careers, which is why we’re committed to investing in Australia’s skills and training sector.”

Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said it was great to see local businesses and programs like Eat Real showcase what can be achieved for young people of all abilities.

“The tourism and hospitality industries are major employers here in Cairns and throughout far north Queensland, and there’s considerable demand from employers throughout the region for people with the right skills and qualifications,” Mr Entsch said.

“Elsa Comino is a real role model – not just for the young school-based trainees she’s supporting through Eat Real to undertake Certificate III qualifications in Hospitality, but for the many businesses throughout the country who can and should be investing in providing similar opportunities for young Australians.”

Minister Andrews said the Turnbull Government is making skills and training a priority, allocating around $3 billion for VET in 2018–19.

“This includes $1.8 billion in payments to states and territories through the Skilling Australians Fund, which aims to create an extra 300,000 new apprenticeships throughout Australia.”

“We’re also investing $1.2 billion for the Australian Government’s own programs, such as Australia Apprenticeship Incentives Program, and the Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices Program.”