Australian apprentice to compete on world stage

23 April, 2019 by
Hospitality Magazine

Cristopher Matkowski, a third-year apprentice at The Star Culinary Institute, will represent Australia in the WorldSkills competition in August in Kazan, Russia.

Matkowski will compete in the cookery event, travelling to Russia alongside 16 other ‘Skillaroos’ who specialise in various trades including spray-painting,  fashion technology and cloud computing. He will compete against 48 other Cookery apprentices, while 1418 apprentices across 69 countries and 56 trades will take part the competition.

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The 22-year-old said although the win came as surprise, it was the culmination of months of training, and guidance from his teachers and mentors. “I’m thrilled be chosen to represent Australia as part of the Skills Squad. They are a talented group of apprentices and I hope everyone does well in Russia,” says Matkowski. “I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete without the support of the chefs and team at The Star, who provide young people with the necessary culinary skills to perform in such high-pressure environments.”

Established in 2012, The Star Culinary Institute is a dedicated training unit of The Star Entertainment Group. Led by a dedicated program manager, it provides on-the job training and prospects for future work placement at some of Australia’s top culinary and entertainment destinations. It has collaborative partnerships with TAFE NSW & QLD TAFE to deliver bespoke programs.

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”The Star is proud to have been able to support Cristopher through his WorldSkills journey,” says Dino Mezzatesta, chief operating officer at The Star Sydney. “We’re excited to see him compete on the international stage and know that he’ll represent Australia well.”

Last week, Matkowski competed at the Global Skills challenge in Melbourne. Following four days of competition he walked away with a Silver medal behind Russia and ahead of the United Kingdom. He will also compete in China in May, as the nation prepares to host the 2021 WorldSkills.

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“At The Star, we are training the next generation of world-class culinary team members through full-time and school based apprenticeships,” says Mezzatesta. “We employ around 110 talented apprentices nationally. They will be inspired by Cristopher’s achievements, backing him to bring home gold, and want to emulate his performance in future WorldSkills and other competitions.”

WorldSkills is the collective voice for skills excellence and development in vocational, technological and service-oriented careers around the globe. Established in 1950, WSI represents more than 45 skills in over 75 Member countries and regions, all working together with youth, educators and industries to help prepare the workforce and talent of today for the jobs of the future.

Image: Matkowski with Senator Michaela Cash and his mentor Ianthe Smith (left).