Career in Hospitality?? Scarf Now Recruiting

Posted: 25th Feb

Referrals for Autumn Scarf - NOW OPEN!.

Scarf is recruiting Front-of-House (waiter) trainees for our 2016 Autumn season.

Autumn Scarf will run from Tuesday 5 April - Tuesday 31 May. The program will operate each Tuesday from 2.30pm - 10.30pm from partner restaurants in the inner north of Melbourne. Additional sessions on coffee training and employment support will happen on some Wednesdays.

Referrals for Autumn Scarf are open from Tuesday 16 February until Wednesday 2 March. First round interviews will take place on Friday 4th March.
We are a small organisation with limited time to process referrals. Please read all of the Scarf eligibility requirements (below) and ensure you meet the requirements before referring them. 

- availability (must be available all Tuesdays from 5 April - 31 May)
- alcohol (must be comfortable to learn about and serve alcohol)
- eligibility (must be long term unemployed ie. job seeker for at least 12 months)

Please send your resume to Any questions can be referred to Karla on 0428 397 785.

Hospitality Training at Scarf

What happens at Scarf? Watch our video for an introduction. More detail:

10-week program for young refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants facing barriers to work
Happens on Tuesday afternoons and evenings
Participating in Scarf is free
70% of Scarf graduates are now in employment
Scarf provides hands-on, relevant "on the job training" - trainees are paid
Scarf takes place in real restaurants (we partner with some of Melbourne’s best restaurants)
Trainees are supported by mentors who are hospitality professionals

"I like Scarf because I learn more about different things. I feel ready to get a job because I gain more confidence and I enjoyed my time at Scarf. I would say to friend if you really want to get more experience go to Scarf Community."
Nyaguich, Winter Scarf 2012 graduate

Nyaguich has been working at No. 35 at The Sofitel in Melbourne since completing the Scarf program in 2012. 

Mentor Mark and trainee Hafso set the dining room. 

Eligibility at Scarf

Trainees must be at least 18 years of age, as they will be learning about and serving alcohol during the program.

Please note that due to the nature of our charity status, to be eligible for our program, the young person must be:

from a refugee background
an asylum seeker living in the community (preference given to asylum seekers with work rights)
a migrant facing barriers to fair training and employment opportunities

If you are referring a young person who has been living in Australia for more than 12 months, to be eligible for Scarf they must be classified as long-term unemployed (job seeker for 12 months or more). 

Young people who live in the Inner North (Darebin, Moreland and Yarra) will also be given preference.
Trainee places at Scarf are extremely limited; trainees must be able to make a commitment to the whole 10-week program.
Further eligibility requirements:

interested in learning about and working in hospitality
conversational English
can read and write in English
ready to transition to a job in hospitality
between 18 - 28 years of age
comfortable learning about and serving alcohol (if a young person is not comfortable learning about and serving alcohol, Scarf is not the right program for them, as much of our training centres around alcohol)
happy to work in a culturally diverse environment with males and females
can independently travel to and from different venues on public transport 
can commit to 10-week program (every Tuesday from 2.30pm until 10.30pm + occasional extra training sessions)


can demonstrate a passion for hospitality
work experience (in any industry)

Benefits of being a Scarf trainee

hands-on, paid experience in hospitality in Melbourne
meet and work with hospitality professionals who train and mentor
learn essential hospitality skills and gain knowledge
help with resume and relevant references

2014 Spring Scarf trainee Deng pours a glass of wine at Jorg. 

What does Scarf offer?

Scarf offers eight front-of-house trainee positions per program to young people who are facing barriers to fair training and employment opportunities. We specifically work with asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants who are facing marginalisation.
Each Tuesday afternoon we run a Scarf training session from 2.30pm – 4.30pm, which is taken by a rotating group of hospitality professionals. Our training sessions happen at a range of venues in the inner north, including Kitty Somerset in Thornbury, The Vertue of The Coffee Drink in Carlton, and Ladro in Fitzroy.

The training session is followed by a dinner service in a real restaurant, with real, paying customers. During Scarf Dinners, trainees are supported by mentors who are hospitality professionals. 

During a Scarf season, trainees will engage in:

coffee training
beer training
wine training
RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certification 
formal service training
bar basics and cocktail training
practice interview sessions
real, paid work experience
(pay in line with Hospitality Award wage)
serving real customers
assistance with resume
assistance with applying for jobs

Autumn Scarf 2015 team at Green Park in Fitzroy North. 

What are people saying about Scarf?

"I’ve seen young people’s lives transformed through Scarf. Trainees are paid, which is rare and crucial to young people's confidence. Nightly self-evaluations after each dinner service empower trainees to work towards their employment goals."
Millicent Spence, Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre

"Scarf offers a very realistic hospitality experience. One client was recently offered a trial in a cafe - he said that if it wasn’t for the Scarf training, he would have really struggled and felt overwhelmed by the trial, and possibly not shown up at all. The Scarf model is more flexible and adaptable to the individual needs of young people."
Gina Chinnery, Orygen Youth Heath

“Scarf has provided training, career advice and career opportunities to many asylum seekers. This has been more than mere work experience: they have provided a high standard of professional training and a careful introduction to the Australian workplace culture. This has been coupled with a supportive, sensitive but also pragmatic treatment of these vulnerable individuals.”
William Haebich, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

“The trainees come out a lot richer for the experience gained from Scarf and have a much stronger leg to push off from to leap into the world of hospitality. They are shown that it is hard work but the rewards are grand. It is a great feeling to help young people come out of their shell and show their personality.”
Mark Williamson, Cumulus Inc (Winter Scarf 2012 mentor)

Setting up for a 2015 Winter Scarf Dinner at The Lincoln. 

Not what you know, but who you know! 

The Melbourne hospitality industry has many work opportunities. And whilst there is a serious staff shortage, many business owners are reluctant to hire someone with no experience or connections in the industry. During the program, Scarf trainees are paired with hospitality professionals in a mentoring role. These mentors bring industry experience and connections, which they share with the trainees.
"The trainees are in a better position than anyone that’s come out of a classroom environment. They’ve had real paying customers, they’ve had real bosses. We provide trainees with the information they need to be part of an operational restaurant. We talk about everything that’s involved, every facet of the industry."
Paul McGough, Pope Joan (Scarf mentor 2010-2014)

To apply for our Autumn Scarf program, please send your resume (if you don't have a resume, some introductory information would be great!) to