VET students immersed in Tiny Mobile Café project

A project involving Vocational Education and Training students from three different schools is about to hit the road.

People with their fists in the air in front of a tiny house on wheels. People with their fists in the air in front of a tiny house on wheels.
Image: The build team celebrates the completion of the Tiny Mobile Cafe project.

In an ambitious and collaborative effort, construction teachers from high schools across regional NSW have come together to construct the Tiny Mobile Café, a groundbreaking initiative in vocational education.

Spanning a journey of 800 kilometres over 20 days, the project commenced at Moruya High School, advanced through Wagga Wagga High School, and concluded at Dubbo College Senior Campus.

The initiative is part of the Industry Immersion Program for secondary school VET (Vocational Education and Training) teachers, emphasising a connection between educators and local industry experts.

Sharyn Conneally, VET Teacher Training Advisor, said the program aimed to ensure teachers impart the most current industry knowledge and practices to their students.

“This is the first time we've actually travelled our immersion program to make it easier for our teachers and also to give regional teachers the opportunity for that experience,” she said.

Now stationed at Dubbo College Senior Campus, the Tiny Mobile Café serves as a novel training environment for VET hospitality students.

College Principal Marisha Blanco said the setup aligned with mandatory work placement requirements and the school's enhancement plans.

“Its mobility allows us to use it not only within our school but also in other educational settings,” she said.

In addition to aiding in practical learning, the Tiny Mobile Café is scheduled to make its public debut at the 2024 Royal Easter Show, offering students a unique opportunity to apply their hospitality skills in a lively and realistic setting.

One exciting aspect of the showcase is the culturally inclusive menu, incorporating Indigenous ingredients to provide a glimpse into Aboriginal culinary traditions.

The Tiny Mobile Café represents a paradigm shift in educational approaches. By integrating hands-on learning, cultural education, community engagement, and industry connectivity, the project sets a new standard in vocational education and underscores the importance of innovative, experiential learning approaches in preparing students for future success.

People working on a tiny house. People working on a tiny house.
Image: The Tiny Mobile Cafe during the building phase.
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