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Huge Demand For Hospitaltiy Training

The Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI) is reporting a huge increase in the number of trainees signing up for hospitality industry qualifications, up from 100 last year to over 1,000 already this year.

Applications in excess of 3,000 have been received to date, putting immense strain on the funding allocated to the hospitality industry this year.

Ian Harding, chief executive of the HSI, says they would have been be able to train 5,000-6,000 trainees this year, but had to turn people away because of lack of funding.

"The huge demand for hospitality industry training has outstripped our funding this year, so we are very encouraged to see the Government has voted an extra $23 million to the ITO sector over the next four years."

Ian Harding said the increased demand for hospitality industry training was the result of several factors.

"The continuing strong growth in tourism is creating real opportunities in the hospitality business in New Zealand. The top restaurants, hotels, bars and catering businesses are crying out for well-trained and professional staff. They have been increasingly prepared to implement workplace training programs that meet the qualifications standards, because they realise the investment will pay dividends."

"In addition, recent high profile events like the Americas Cup have raised the profile of the hospitality industry as a serious career option for people who are either new to the industry, or were dabbling around the edges."

Ian Harding says the introduction of specialty qualifications funded and promoted by the businesses wanting them, such as barista (the art of coffee making), tap beer maintenance (hospitality operations, supervision and management) and a high-level food and beverage qualification, shows an industry in confident expansion mode.

"The HSI is embodying the spirit of the Industry Training Act, in getting more people working in the industry qualified. Our businesses are coming to the party and picking up their own costs in terms of training and assessment, and people working in the industry are being recognised for achieving set levels of skills, resulting in internationally recognised qualifications."

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Catherine Beard, Principal,Comsar Communications, Tel (04) 389 0544, Mob (021) 633 212 Ian Harding, Chief Executive, Hospitality Standards Institute, ph (04) 802 7812, Mob (025) 300 590

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