Scarf trainees are amazing, resilient young people who have faced barriers to employment but haven’t given up. Some Scarf participants dream of a career in hospitality and others are looking for a pathway to gain work experience, learn new skills, make friends, and better understand how to navigate Australian workplaces.

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Our trainees all have different goals and dreams, but when they're at Scarf, there's a big focus on hospitality and how to navigate front-of-house service in a busy restaurant. 

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Scarf’s approach is simple: learning in real venues and serving real diners means real experience which leads to real jobs. During Scarf's 10-week program, trainees grow their knowledge, skills and confidence during hands-on sessions in industry hotspots like Stomping Ground Beer Hall, Five Senses Coffee and Garden State Hotel.

Since our very first program in 2010, the legendary Jenny 'Wine Whitch' Polack, who has over 30 years experience as a wine educator, has run regular wine training and tastings for trainees.

Trainees then serve real diners during Scarf Dinner seasons at some of Melbourne's best restaurants, with on-the-spot support from heavyweight hospitality mentors who volunteer with a passion to share their skills and networks. 

We also run super practical Job Readiness workshops with a focus on hospitality resume-writing, understanding Work Rights in Australia (with particular focus given to navigating the Restaurant Industry Award), and interview practice with real hospitality managers.

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Scarf is such a well designed program to meet the needs of the participants as well as the hospitality industry. It is so exciting to meet students who want to learn. Often language is a barrier that needs to be overcome on both sides as well as cultural issues; this makes my teaching job so much more enjoyable and worthwhile.

- Jenny Polack, Scarf wine trainer

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Cover image: Tasting Plate '19 at The Rochey. Photo by Roger Ungers
Inset image: Jenny Polack conducting a wine tasting with the Winter Scarf'18 trainees at Bhang. Photo: Linsey Rendell