How MWLP is cooking up a storm in hospitality careers

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Oisin Braddock-Hanratty (left) with Eleven Bridge restaurant executive chef Phil Wood.
Cooking up a storm in hospitality careers: student Oisin Braddock-Hanratty (left) with Eleven Bridge restaurant executive chef Phil Wood.

One is a Macarthur organisation that helps young people make the transition from school to work.

The other is a top Sydney restaurant trying to address the shortage in young people interested in hospitality careers.

The organisation, Macarthur Workplace Learning Program or MWLP, has in recent times also been required by the government to service the inner south west region of Sydney as well as Macarthur.

And that’s how MWLP and Eleven Bridge, one of Sydney’s best restaurants, have come together in a common cause.

The restaurant’s executive chef, Phil Wood, says he is excited to become part of the MWLP Linking Youth work placement program, which provides businesses with Year 11 and 12 students studying hospitality as part of their HSC for week long work placements.

Phil and The Rockpool Group acknowledge that their most valuable asset is their staff and they pride themselves on a training program aimed at developing future industry leaders.

A major concern is the shortage of up-and-coming hospitality tradespeople and Phil, together with the support of MWLP, has found a unique way to address this.

Phil joined the program earlier this year, offering one student each week the opportunity to experience first-hand, life in the kitchen.

[social_quote duplicate=”no” align=”default”]“Our industry, in general, is struggling to find good employees and we need to readjust how we work in order to attract young people,’’ says Phil.[/social_quote]

“We find work placement to be a great way to introduce and encourage students into careers in Hospitality.

“I have passion for the industry and want to nurture the next generation and the work placement program helps us identify the next influx of talented people.

“I look for a hunger for work, coupled with initiative and interest.

“A willingness to learn and an ability to take instructions also impress me,” he says.

Inner city high school student Oisin Braddock-Hanratty, 17, has had a passion for food and cooking from a young age.

He won the Perishable Food Category at the Royal Easter Show in 2015 and 2016 for his orange and poppy seed muffins.

Oisin often cooks alongside mum and dad and couldn’t wait to study hospitality at school as part of his HSC curriculum.

“I was pretty surprised when I found out prestigious restaurants like Eleven Bridge offered students work placement and couldn’t wait to register my interest and learn all about fine dining,’’ says Oisin.

“I have been here nearly a week now and it has been an amazing experience.

[social_quote duplicate=”no” align=”default”]“I have been picking herbs, squaring lettuce, preparing and making salads.[/social_quote]

“My time here has made me even more motivated to continue my studies and I definitely see Eleven Bridge as a goal.  Their dishes are like works of art!”

• For more information contact MWLP’s Michael Everett on 0428 935 688 or email him at

• If you’d like to find out more about MWLP, visit their website here.







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