Developing Excellent School-Based Trainees: Redlands Sporting Club

For over 6 years, Redlands Sporting Club has welcomed trainees into their dynamic and talented team. The venue has a deep focus on developing strong life-long transferable skills for their trainees, designed to prepare students for a bright future. Accordingly, Redlands Sporting Club continuously looks to invest into the lives of these youths.

We had a great opportunity to sit down with Doreen Thomas, Redlands Sporting Club’s HR Manager, to discuss the venue’s three new trainees.

Interview with Doreen

How many trainees do you currently employ?

We currently have three school-based trainees!

What projects and areas are your trainees currently working in?

We are currently placing our trainees on different days; One on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday to fit with their school timetables. One works in the main bar, another in the Steakhouse and café, and our final trainee is in gaming and Bingo.

We aim to give our trainees an all-around experience of the club. They will stay in one department for 2 months, then transfer to another department for 2 months. By the end of 6-8 months, they should be able to be sent to any department to work and it gives the trainees a diverse experience.

What inspired you to hire trainees at Redlands Sporting Club?

We’ve had trainees for years; for around 6-7 years! I think taking on school-based trainees is an investment into their future. I love going to the schools and talking to the hospitality classes about opportunities in hospitality and what it means to have a job in the industry. Sometimes, they don’t really think much about a traineeship, but consider hospitality as being mainly big fast-food chains or bars. Through attending these school events, we open the world up to them and show the students that hospitality is everywhere.  

What is the most rewarding aspect of hiring trainees?

You get to start to mould them when they are school-based, allowing them to learn how to do things the right way. Sometimes, when they come with pre-existing experience, they want to do it their way. Here, we have the opportunity to mold them to do it our way, because we believe that our way is the best way!

What makes an excellent trainee at Redlands Sporting Club?

I think having that passion for hospitality. I will give you a story. I went to several schools to talk to the hospitality classes because we were thinking of taking on 5 school-based trainees. A student at one of the schools were either going to do hospitality or nursing. When I was talking to the class about the opportunities you have in hospitality and what you can do, she was so excited about it! Before I was even finished, she was asking her teacher how she could sign up.

Having that desire and passion to serve customers is something I love to see. And I must admit, our three current trainees right now are gold nuggets. They really have done well. They are enthusiastic, quick-thinking and want to learn! They also ask questions and get involved. We still have two existing school-based trainees that have been employed with us for several years. It is good for the trainees to see that they can progress further. Hospitality is a career they can pursue after school!

What is in store for your future traineeship programs?

We will definitely continue our traineeship program. We have these three students for the next two years and will continue to take on other trainees moving forward. It’s an ongoing project and not something that is just a one-off.

Some years, there is not an opportunity to take on students because no one is interested. However, we start as early as possible in the school year and sign on grade 11 students, so that I have those two years to work with them and get their hours completed.

Do you have any tips for clubs looking to bring on trainees?

If any of the other clubs have not thought about it before, I think that they just need to call CTA Training Specialists and find out how they can get involved! They need to just get out and do it. Also, contact clubs that have already been involved and discover what the benefits are. When HR managers talk to HR managers, you are going to get a realistic idea of what the good and bad is.

A couple of years ago I didn’t know if I could be bothered taking on school-based trainees, especially when you get some that aren’t interested, but when you get gems you see the benefit.

What are the benefits of school-based trainees?

There is the financial benefit of having incentives. Also, having that younger work-base gives you the opportunity to mould them, invest into their life, and help them build customer service skills to take anywhere. This is even if they choose to not stay in hospitality! At the end of the day, you can just say “wow, look at how good this trainee is, look at the great training they have received, and what they are giving back to us”.

You are going to get positive outcomes when you invest into their future.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today!

Leaders in Training

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Check out the amazing service being offered by Redlands Sporting Club and their trainees!