Club Culture Creates Success
7 Jun 2019
Parkwood Village occupies a unique space as an entertainment, sport and business facility. Built around a magnificent golf course, Parkwood is one of the Gold Coast’s busiest function centres, catering to weddings, conferences and corporate events. The Parkwood Village precinct includes health clubs, medical facilities, a high performance training centre and is home to the Gold Coast Titans.
For years Parkwood Village has been an important training ground for school-based trainees in hospitality. General Manager Cody Mathie says it’s more than just training young people for the organisation and the hospitality sector.
“We have really strong ethics around how we train these students. Not all of them will end up in hospitality, we know that, but it’s important that they learn the need for good service, diligence and being on time – skills that will serve them well throughout their lives, no matter what they choose to do. We don’t take that responsibility lightly.”
In the six years that Cody has been in the job Parkwood Village has had some great success stories with their school-based trainees.
A Traineeship to the Top
“At 16 Monique was a school-based trainee in food and beverage, now she’s progressed to become our Events Coordinator. When Monique began working on weddings she was incredibly focused on the detail and it became clear that she had a real flair for events. Since then she’s developed a passion for marketing and creative design, so we’re now creating a new position for Monique that’s really tailored to her talents. As her interests evolve we’ll continue to develop and create opportunities for her within the organisation.”
Cody confirms that supporting staff is a key aspect of the club’s policy. “It’s about identifying the interests and talent of our team across the board. We regularly assess our staff to see where they’re at and what they want most out of working here and most of the time they want more training. It’s part of the culture of who we are. I love being able to facilitate opportunities for people who want to fulfill a passion in their life. I’m working for them as much as they’re working for me.”
Parkwood Village offers school-based trainees a range of hospitality experiences, so they gain broad experience at the club. “There’s always a risk that having invested that time in training staff that they could leave, but it would be much worse if we didn’t train them and they stayed,” says Cody.
Attitude is Everything
“Through our trainer Aurora we get about 20 students applying each year. We’re selective, it’s based on how they interview and what their attitude is like - you can see it in the kids who really want to be here. Service is our business so it’s vital we get kids with the right attitude,” says Cody.
While RTO Aurora provides students and training for the club, Cody explains that they’re not the only ones teaching Parkwood staff. “We currently have two students learning barista techniques at Paradox Roasters and St Hallet’s run a great wine appreciation course so every so often we’ll send some staff to the Barossa for the weekend to participate in that course. They bring that knowledge back here which then enhances the experience for our customers.”
With $7 million currently being invested into the facility, Cody says they’re hoping to double their turnover, meaning even greater opportunities for staff.
“There’ll be massive growth in our staff numbers over the next 12 months.
We’re now looking at creating an intern program, having discussions both with TAFE and Griffith University with regard to events management, sales and marketing.”
*Top photo: Parkwood trainees learn the finer points of coffee at Paradox.