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Future Guides Well Supported By Tour Company

13 October 2005

Future Guides Well Supported By Tour Company

As the New Zealand tourism industry cries out for more staff, New Zealand's largest private tertiary provider and one of the largest tour operators in Australasia are joining forces to give travel and tourism students the ultimate in work experience.

Having employed several graduates from the Sir George Seymour National College of Tourism and Travel, managing director of Kirra Tours Richard Hubber was pleased to assist the college with the practical aspects of their tour guiding training programme.

The 30-week Certificate in Tourism Operations and Guiding offers four full NZQA National Certificate qualifications through the college’s Christchurch, Hamilton and Auckland campuses, however the final assessment process must be held in a 'workplace' situation rather than the classroom. Christchurch Campus course tutor Frank Ash contacted Kirra Tours to help and Mr Hubber asked their Christchurch office to liaise with the college and include the students on one of their tours.

Working alongside Kirra’s professional tour captain, Sir George Seymour students will deliver interpretive guiding of the South Island’s iconic attractions, demonstrate leadership skills and undertake their role in a way that recognizes health and safety issues. The assessment itself is a combination of video evidence of the students performance, visitor feedback and peer review. The tour takes in Mount Cook, Dunedin, Milford Sound and Queenstown.

Mr Hubber said he was delighted to help Sir George Seymour College students gain practical experience.

"Tourism in New Zealand needs qualified and core-skilled people to enter the industry and by giving the students product knowledge and people skills in a theory situation and allow them to use those tools in a practical situation ensures education has a valid outcome.”

Kirra Tours Australia has been operating in New Zealand for 37 years and has expanded its products to meet changing demand.

“Coach tours that deliver interactive elements between the visitor and the environment, rather than just viewing the attraction, are the future and since this is the focus of our company, we congratulate Sir George Seymour College on providing the industry with such well trained people” Mr. Hubber said.

CEO of Sir George’s five campuses nationwide, Lyndon Leabourn, recognized the value of the Kirra Tours assistance, putting in context of the College's recent government review.

“Sir George Seymour College has recently undergone a rigorous strategic relevance review with the government and our programmes were one of only two out of over 400 programmes offered in the private sector that received a 'high' rating. Having our students supported and employed by the industry plays a major part in that relevance” Mr Leabourn said.

Students graduate later this month.


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