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Jetting off to exotic locations to earn their stripes at top-class restaurants and hotels is a new way for young Western Australians to get into the booming hospitality industry.

Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan and Tourism Minister Sheila McHale today launched an Australian first training initiative, the �Hospitality Passport� program for aspiring chefs and front-of-house staff.

�This is a first class ticket to a top job in hospitality, by training with the industry�s best in the finest restaurants and hotels around WA,� Mr McGowan said.

�I urge young people with a passion for cooking and hospitality to apply by August 10 for one of the 40 apprenticeship and traineeship places on offer.

�This is a unique opportunity to launch an exciting career in a fast paced industry, and experience the best of WA hospitality at the same time.�

The Minister said the program, to be piloted over three years, would combat seasonal skills shortages in tourism hotspots such as Dunsborough and Broome.

�The apprentices and trainees will gain valuable on-the-job training experience during the busiest season in each region,� he said.

�Some of the industry�s biggest names are on board, including Lamont�s and Fraser�s Restaurants, Must Wine Bar, Subiaco Hotel, Voyages El Questro Wilderness Park, Quay West Bunker Bay Resort and more.

�With their �Hospitality Passport�, these young people will be fully qualified, well travelled and will be in high demand for their skills and experience.�

Mr McGowan said the unique program was part of the Government�s new $3.3million package to develop stronger links between training providers and industry.

�We are responding to industry demands for more flexible training programs to boost the supply of skilled workers, and a one size fits all approach simply does not work,� he said.

�We are working towards more training taking place on the job and, in conjunction with industry, we are developing training programs that cater to particular industry needs.�

The �Hospitality Passport� program is a partnership between hospitality industry, the Department of Education and Training and Tourism WA.

Tourism Minister Sheila McHale said the �Hospitality Passport� was just one example of how dynamic a career in tourism and hospitality could be.

�It really does give you the skills to take you places,� Ms McHale said.

�It is an opportunity to demonstrate how important chefs are in delivering a thriving tourism product, and will provide much needed support to the many leading restaurants and hotels currently operating at near capacity.

�This program will see young talent work in some of WA�s most iconic destinations, from the State�s tropical north to our lush wine region.�

It is supported by prominent industry figures including Lamont�s Restaurant owner and Chair of Tourism WA Kate Lamont, Fraser�s Restaurant general manager Chris Taylor, Must Wine Bar general manager Russell Blaikie and Australian celebrity chef Ben O�Donoghue

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