Tech food course one track to work

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More than 20 former refugees took part in a food handling course at Otago Polytechnic on Thursday.
Red Cross employment adviser Jarrah Cooke said the one-day course would help the participants get jobs in the food industry.
Mr Cooke said the course had been put on in collaboration with the polytechnic.
‘‘Otago Polytechnic have been extremely supportive . . .we’re stoked.’’
‘Otago Polytechnic have been extremely supportive . . . we’re stoked.’
— Red Cross employment adviser
Jarrah Cooke
Otago Polytechnic programme manager Tony Heptinstall said the polytechnic liked to give back to the city and supporting Dunedin’s newest residents was one way to do this.
‘‘And ifwe are helping people find work that’s a bonus for us.’’
Mohammed Ghannam said it was a ‘‘very good’’ course.
‘‘I learnt a lot from it.’’
He said the food cleaning process was familiar — as they did things to an even higher standard in Syria.
Malakeh Akkam said the certificate was ‘‘good, really good’’, especially learning about the importance of regulating food temperature.
‘‘[It was] good to learn that.’’
Mr Cooke said since the course on Thursday, one refugee had had a job interview in a Dunedin cafe. – A fourth group of former refugees arrived in Dunedin on Friday. The 29-strong group comprised 20 Syrians and an extended family of nine Palestinians who had been living in Syria, Red Cross southern humanitarian services manager Sue Price said.
The group had spent six weeks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre in Auckland before arriving in Dunedin, she said.