Paddock 2 Plate, Beenleigh

A PLACE at a table at Beenleigh High’s fourth annual Paddock 2 Plate business lunch was the hottest ticket in Logan City today, August 31.

Students from Beenleigh High’s Trade Training Centre worked behind the scenes to prepare and serve up a three-course business lunch for 250 business diners.

Queensland chef Matt Golinski worked with students over three days to prepare a menu that used produce raised in the school garden and meat reared by the school’s agricultural department.

Service students have been hard at work for three days transforming the school sports centre into dining hall with the three course meal served up by hospitality students.

Employment, Small Business, Training and Skills Development minister Shannon Fentiman attended and used her visit to launch a TAFE campaign for 2018 Year 12 graduates to take up free training in the year after they leave school.

Students who complete Year 12 this year can sign up next year for apprenticeships or traineeships in catering, hospitality, baking and commercial cookery or training in high-priority qualifications such as food processing and agrifood operations across 160 courses.

Local students can choose from training providers including TAFE Queensland’s Loganlea campus, Strategix Training Group’s Loganholme College and the Beenleigh-based Brisbane Business and Hospitality Training.

“The Jobs Queensland Tourism Workforce Plan released last month indicates that as the tourism and hospitality industry continue to grow it is forecast that we will need more than 20,000 more Queenslanders in these jobs by 2020,” Ms Fentiman said.

“That’s why we’re investing in initiatives like free TAFE to ensure we have the skilled workers we need to fill the jobs for the future.”

Beenleigh State High School principal Matt O’Hanlon acknowledged Ms Fentiman’s support of his school and broader Logan community.

“Shannon has taken a keen interest in the training we provide at the school and the many community people that support us,” he said.

Macalister MP Melissa McMahon said the annual event was always popular.

“It’s not everyday you can dine on a Matt Golinski inspired menu in Beenleigh,” she said.

“This annual lunch started four years ago with about 80 guests and has grown to a significant community event which is sold out weeks before the day.”

Funds raised go to the Parents and Citizens Association for school upgrades and to support a team of students to do work experience at the five-star Marco Polo Hotel in Changzhou, China.