Esso Australia is providing a community contribution to support Gippsland Employment Skills Training Inc. (GEST), to upgrade its Moe Community Hub kitchen.

GEST delivers vocational training in work experience settings for job seekers across Gippsland.

As part of this training, GEST runs three work experience sites where participants obtain hands on real life experience and is the lead tenant for the Moe Community Hub, utilised by many small not-for-profit community organisations.

The Moe Community Hub currently has a small kitchen, social area, community computer hub, training area and a beauty area that is used as a small business incubator for young locals who have completed a course but are not yet employed and looking to set up their own small business and build a client base.

Funding from Esso Australia will provide a significant cash injection which will  enable GEST to upgrade the hub’s kitchen enabling them to provide hospitality training in a commercial kitchen setting.

The upgrade will also allow GEST to provide nutritional support to the community by running a soup kitchen from the hub as well as delivering free non-accredited cooking on a budget, paddock to plate, and preserving classes.

“The funding from Esso Australia will facilitate a significant and much needed uplift to our community projects capability,” said Julie Rowley, GEST Chief Executive Officer.

“Of immediate benefit will be our ability to conduct many of our hospitality and catering training courses in a commercial kitchen setting.

“The upgrade means we will also be able to cater for community events either directly or through our community hub co-tenants including the Country Women’s Association, as well as provide meals to locals in need through our soup kitchen,” said Julie.

Longford Plants Manager Kartik Garg, who recently visited the hub, said that Esso Australia is pleased to be able to support those in our communities who need assistance now more than ever.

“COVID19 has hit our communities hard and I am sure that the provision of free meals to community members in-need through the GEST soup kitchen will be very much appreciated,” said Kartik. “We are also delighted that we can help GEST to grow their training offering and provide opportunities for locals who need some extra assistance to enter the job market, especially in the current tough economic climate.”

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