Tyler-Alec Trappel has his sights set on Fortitude Valley.

The 20-year-old Hervey Bay local dreams of one day owning a coffee shop in the iconic neighbourhood, serving up quality brews from a trendy hole-in-the-wall or street-front café.

He could be one step closer to achieving this dream, having joined the first cohort of Certificate II in Hospitality students through the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work program (SQW).

Delivered in partnership with Axiom and funded by the Queensland Government, SQW is aimed at getting jobseekers employment-ready through a combination of theory and hands-on job experience.

Tyler is one of 12 young people going through the 12-week program, supported by HBNC’s Social Enterprise, The Wandering Teapot.

He said the practical experience in the TWT Café, HBNC kitchen and catering business has already helped improve his confidence and job skills.

“I really enjoying working in the café and delivering customer service,” Tyler said.

“I like speaking to the customers and getting to know them, and seeing new faces.”

Tyler said while gaining practical skills and knowledge was essential, it was the personal changes that made the biggest difference.

“This has boosted my confidence a lot,” he said.

Tyler, who has previous experience in fast food and fashion retail, describes himself as fashion-forward and hopes his eye for details will help him carve out a niche in the hospitality world.

“I’m a visual person. That’s why I want to get into hospitality, because it’s more visual and practical,” he said.

“I’m hoping I can look for a job out of this course, hopefully in a bar or café.

“I hope to move to Brisbane and I feel this will give a good chance of landing a job in Brisbane.”

HBNC Operations Manager, Christian Berechree, said the organisation was taking a strategic approach to getting at-risk young jobseekers ready for work.

“Hospitality is one of our region’s biggest employers, so it makes sense to train jobseekers in the skills they need to get them the jobs that are out there,” Christian said.

“Using our established café, kitchen, catering and venue hire functions, we can provide a full hospitality training experience through our community hubs.”

This is just the first round of hospitality training delivered through HBNC’s SQW program, which previously delivered individual support training.

Stay tuned for information about applying for the next round.