Funded by the State Government, the initiative provides eligible Queenslanders access to fully subsidised training across a range of priority apprenticeships or traineeship qualifications.
Sam, 22, said she developed a love for food as a child.
"In my family, I learned from a young age to cook. I’d create meals at home and I would get really invested in theme nights where I’d cook dishes from different ethnicities. By doing that, I developed a real passion for food," Sam said.
"After high school, I did pursue engineering and then teaching, but those career paths just didn’t feel right, whereas cheffing hits that spot."
When she’s not attending block training at the Whitsundays campus, Sam is working in industry at Fish D’Vine.
"Whether I’m at TAFE or at work, every day I’m learning as an apprentice chef. I love being able to connect with other chefs because they’ve all brought something new to the table to teach me. I’m always being pushed to learn new things, try new techniques and explore different foods, which has helped me create some nice dishes."
Sam said she was grateful to be accessing free apprenticeships for under 25s funding.
"Receiving free training means that I can live more freely. If I didn’t have the funding, I would be forced to live at home because I wouldn’t have the money to live independently. Free training gives me freedom and some cushion, it means I don’t have to worry about being able to afford living expenses. I plan to travel in the future, so free training means I can save for a holiday."