The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

New hospitality institute gears to spruce up hotel staff


Hospitality management has become an essential tool in the hotel industry, and the new Colombo Academy of Hospitality Management (CAHM), is established in a bid to increase its qualified and trained workforce.This purpose built hotel school would ensure the future increased room capacity could be serviced by well-trained persons, the institute’s Chairman Errol Weerasinghe said in an interview with the Sunday Times on Tuesday at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT)’s head office in Colombo. CAHM, which is the hospitality arm of SLIIT, is in a joint venture with private investors.

In this regard, the institute has partnered with the William Angliss Institute, one of the top 10 hospitality management trainers and educators in the region based in Australia.An investment of Rs.320 million will be spent to develop a 22,000 sq. ft. training facility in line with international standards, housing a multi-use training kitchen, a full-scale banqueting facility, training restaurant, model bedrooms, an IT training centre and team rooms for students’ practical training, while classroom lectures will be predominantly conducted at the SLIIT’s Malabe campus a release issued by the institute stated.

Enrollments will commence in January 2013 with CAHM sharing SLIIT’s infrastructure and services.Further investments would be made to establish branches in the South, East and Kandy with more to be spent on similar projects or expand further using three times the current investments, Mr. Weerasinghe said.

Institute’s President /CEO Prof. Lalith B. Gamage said SLIIT expects to produce a high quality workforce and contributing 60% of the staff requirement for the hotel industry.Initially the institute has a target to produce at least 300 students per year and this would increase in time to come, he said. “We will expand our facilities to accommodate more students,” Prof. Gamage explained.

Training is mainly provided for the upper management level, he said adding that the institute would offer two degree programmes, several diploma programmes and certificate level programmes as well. With service standards  low and a lack of communication skills among a majority of the current hotel industry workforce, the institute has taken up the challenge of training and educating future hotel staff, he said.

In view of the high quality of the institute it is unlikely to face any competition but on the other hand would be more complementary to other institutes. “We will provide pathways to go upto the higher levels,” Prof. Gamage said.William Angliss Institute’s Manager Strategic Project Development Jim Irwin told the Business Times that they would be providing quality and quantity with the aim of providing training in a bid to nurture young leaders.

The institute established itself in Thailand, Malaysia and also partnered with the Singapore Government recently. A third of the course content and professionals would be provided by the institute. Internships, employment and scholarship opportunities would also be provided both locally and globally.

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