Step into and shape Newcastle after-dark
Calling all Newcastle-based small bars! Do you want to be a part of a game-changing program developed to shift the perspective of working in the hospitality industry? Well, you best read on because the team at Virtual Intern have your needs at the forefront of their soon-to-launch program, Bartending Specialist Course.
Virtual Intern, a locally created online platform launched in 2020 provides youth with relevant, local, and project-based work experiences with the aim to transition participants into meaningful job roles.
With Tricia Martin at the helm, and with the aid of Hunter Employment Facilitator, Karla Notman, the concept of reviving Newcastle’s bartending industry following a tumultuous covid journey through a mixture of digital and physical-based learning activities came to life.
“We’ve seen over the last two years the impact of the global pandemic on our local venues, so we’re proud to support a new and exciting initiative that will give young people a pathway into a new role. The Specialist Bartending program provides an opportunity for young people to get to know local venues and learn more about how hospitality can be a really rewarding and long-term career. We love that the program gives both the candidate and the venue the opportunity to find the perfect fit.
“The program supports the priorities set out in the Hunter Region Local Jobs Plan, and really addresses the need across the region to build on the world-class night economy here in the city with fresh new faces ready to greet both locals and visitors to the Hunter,” Karla shared.
Having been successful in securing the tender for the Local Jobs Program funding, this unique Bartending Specialist Course is due to run its first cohort on the 4th of July, with the second cohort to kick off on the 22nd of August.
The Bartending Specialist Program is an industry-based approach to learning unlike any other, bringing a fresh, unique, and modern program to the people of Newcastle in hopes of changing the perception of pursuing careers within the hospitality industry.
Guided by Newcastle’s best talent, founders, and venues, the 6-week program invites participants to explore everything that lies behind (and beyond) the bar. From liquor labs, and skill-building scavenger hunts to designing the ultimate customer experience.
“Having a tailored program like the Bartending Specialist Program is going to be game-changing for the industry,” Prudence Farquhar, Co-Owner of Blue Kahunas, and Bar Mellow shared.
Wanting to really delve into the local hospitality world and get a true understanding of what’s happening on the ground, Virtual Intern is on the lookout for keen local small bars and hotels to shape the program with individually tailored experiences. The best part? It’s completely free of charge.
“We want the input of as many local venues as possible. The more voices in the room the better it is. We’re not experts in hospitality, we’re just experts at putting it all together and delivering the program, so we are heavily reliant on their input. The more insights we have from the local community, the better,” Tricia said.
Over the 6-weeks, the 25 participants will stack their skills and get a real-world feel of what life can look like behind the bar and beyond. The course itself will consist of a mix of digital project-based learning and physical labs and masterclasses where participants will learn the hands-on basics of bartending.
“We’re also looking into getting some bar kits so that they can start practicing techniques at home. We want them to feel proud of it, rather than pressuring them to rock up to a classroom in order to learn.”
The Bartending Specialist Course is here to really re-shape the understanding and expectation of working within the hospitality sector here in Newcastle. Instead of viewing hospitality as a fill-in job or paycheck, the course is aimed to boost bartending as a career that could rocket individuals into an exciting future.
“We saw this need to have young people see bar work as a viable career. To really shift that perspective of what working in the hospitality industry really looks like.”
Whether you’re a Newcastle-based small bar, hotel, or other hospitality venue looking at how you can make an impact on the local industry or are a keen individual looking to make your mark and build a career in bartending, register your interest with Virtual Intern for their one-of-a-kind upcoming program here.