Hospitality training for public at Ascott

Hospitality training for public at Ascott 

New centre to offer classes to its employees as well as others


FOR the first time, a big name in the hospitality industry is opening the doors of its training centre to the public.

The new Ascott Centre for Excellence, which is aimed at mid-career workers, will see employees of the Ascott Group studying subjects like guest interaction and risk management together with paying members of the public when classes start in October.


The centre will market its courses to small or mid-range hotels, which do not have the resources to run such programmes.


Indeed, general managers of boutique hotels which The Straits Times spoke to said the centre’s set-up helps to fill a gap in the industry, as they lack the large human resource departments or dedicated trainers found in larger hotels.


Tourism and hospitality training is among the most sought after in Singapore today, as the industry rides a boom fuelled by record arrivals. Prospects are even brighter with upcoming events such as the Formula One race and the opening of the integrated resorts.


Already, courses on subjects such as hotel management in the polytechnics are regularly oversubscribed.


The opening of the centre ties in with a push by the Government to improve continuing-education opportunities for workers here.


In February, the Ministry of Manpower unveiled its Continuing Education and Training masterplan which aims to increase the number of training places to 80,000 within the next decade.


Speaking as the guest of honour at the centre’s launch yesterday at its new Anthony Road campus, Education Minister Ng Eng Hen stressed the need for more collaboration between the public and private sectors to reach this goal.


‘Business cycles are more volatile and shorter, with greater potential to disrupt careers or make skills obsolete…The Government will do its part by providing funding and infrastructure development, but private companies know that it is in their interest to develop their own employees.’


The new centre, an expanded version of the group’s eight-year-old inhouse training institute, is the only one here that offers the Workforce Development Agency’s (WDA) full range of hospitality and accommodation service programmes.


Ascott Group’s employees will make up two-thirds of each intake of about 1,000 students. Members of the public can expect to pay fees starting from $3,000, according to WDA guidelines, although Singaporeans and permanent residents can apply for subsidies from the WDA.


Source: Straits Times

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