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Industry Celebrates New Zealand's First Catering Qualification Graduation

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Industry Celebrates New Zealand's First Catering Qualification Graduation

3 September 2008 - The hospitality industry will today celebrate the first graduation of its catering and food service sector qualification in Hamilton.

After six months of on-the-job training and study, eight Spotless Services (NZ) Ltd staff are the first to complete the new Food Service Limited Credit Programme through HSI - the hospitality industry's training partner.

HSI's Chief Executive, Steve Hanrahan, says the certificate is the first nationally recognised qualification for the sector, which employs about 13,000 people. "It provides the flexibility of on-the-job training, allowing staff to earn and learn while gaining a qualification in Food Service," Mr Hanrahan says.

Mr Hanrahan says the new qualifications pathway provides a nationally-recognised standard of training that demonstrates and helps to achieve career progression within the hospitality industry.

"We've worked very closely with the sector to develop a qualifications pathway that enables staff to gain the skills and knowledge to develop their careers and provide a quality focus across the industry," Mr Hanrahan says. The programme enables students to continue their learning into a National Certificate in Hospitality Levels 2-5.

John Wilkinson, Spotless Food Services General Manager, congratulated graduating staff and welcomed the qualification's pathway opportunities, saying it would grow people into supervisory and management positions and help businesses to develop their staff.

"With a nationally-recognised accredited and assessed standard it provides our clients with assurance of consistent quality and efficiency," Mr Wilkinson says. Spotless Food Services (NZ) Ltd already provides in-house training and some NZQA-approved courses for its 2,500 staff. The Hamilton pilot programme will now be made available to some 219 Spotless Services (NZ) Ltd sites throughout the country.

HSI's National Training Advisor Alison Thompson is thrilled at the uptake of the new qualification within the industry. "This is a qualification that the Food Service sector needs. Compared with the rest of the hospitality industry the work of the catering and food services sector is done very much behind the scenes, however it's integral to the country's infrastructure. Auckland Hospital is also underway with the pilot programme and we have other organisations lining up for the qualification," Ms Thompson says.

As the hospitality industry's national training organisation (ITO), HSI leads access to training and qualifications for the hospitality industry, including overseeing, supervising, assisting and reviewing all nationally-recognised training for chefs, waiters, baristas, bar persons, porters, hotel receptionists, room-attendants, house-keepers, supervisors and managers.

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