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Wed, 22 October 2014 15:24:04
Sri Lanka Australia hospitality school starts
09 Jan, 2013 07:53:47
By Anushika Kamburugamuwa
Jan 09, 2012 (LBO) - A Sri Lanka-Australia joint venture hospitality sector training school ready to begin teaching its first intake of students at a 320 million rupee purpose built facility, officials said.
The Colombo Academy of Hospitality Management (CAHM) was set up by the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) and Australia's William Angliss Institute, a specialist hospitality sector training school.

The school located in the SLIIT campus in Malabe on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo can teach about five hundred students per year and plans to grow to two thousand students in the next five years.

Officials say the school is not only filling a gap in the industry for new entrants but also a need among mid-career practitioners who seek career advancement.

"Not only new comers, we are planning to train those in the industry," says CAHM chairman Errol Weerasinghe said.

"There is experienced staff in hotels, but they do not have qualifications. So we will be training the industry in short courses, because some are stagnating in their position, not having the paper qualification to move ahead."

The school is offering an internationally accepted curriculum in hospitality, tourism and culinary arts ranging from short courses to diplomas to three year degrees developed with William Angliss Institute.

"We have been looking at Sri Lanka for some time with the large mumber of Sri Lanka students who come to our Institute in Melbourne," Chris Coates, director of the William Angliss Institute, Singapore said.

"So this is time, we have found the right people who we can work with, who understand us

"It’s going to be more than just Sri Lanka, you will be providing tremendously well educated young people to go out the whole world."

William Angliss in Australia has about 1,300 students.

Sri Lanka itself is expected to require about 75,000 more trained workers by 2016 when the country is expecting tourist arrivals to reach 2.5 million from the one million notched up in 2012.

The hospitality school is located on the SLIIT campus in Malabe a 22,000 square foot purpose built facility with a modern kitchen a training restaurant and also model hotel rooms including a luxury suite.

There will also be a demonstration concierge and events hall.

In addition to expansion of existing chains Sri Lanka has attracted international brands like Shangri-La Hotels and Movenpick.

"With this demand, these hotels require very high caliber, high quality professionals," head of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) Lalith Gamage said.

"So that is why we need this kind of facility to train these people."

The school says it is in talks with Sri Lanka's top hotel chains including Aitken Spence, Haylys, Jetwing, John Keells for the students to intern and gain on-the-job experience.

Students also have the flexibility to part-qualify, move into the industry and come back later.

"We have designed this program with multiple entry, multiple exist program, since the industry cannot wait for four years till we graduate our students," says SLIIT chief Lalith Gamage."

"So at each level particularly after first semester the students can be able to get a level three certificate with which they can find a certain categories of employment. And when they want they can come back and complete the qualification."

Courses for the first intake will begin in February. Australian instructors are expected to be brought down in the initial stages while local faculty is gradually expanded.

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