Ms Pauline Tang, CEO of THE-ICE and Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP during the official opening. Photo: USP
The Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE), Ms Pauline Tang officially opened The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Nadi Hospitality and Tourism Training Centre on 18 August 2017.
The Centre, which is worth FJ$1.3m will conduct training for Certificates III and IV in Commercial Cookery, Certificate III in Patisserie and Certificate IV in Hospitality Operations offered through the Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE).
It is a simulated training centre which has a commercial kitchen, a restaurant and bar, as well as classrooms and staff offices, for the delivery of Hospitality (Events, Food & Beverage, and Front Office), Commercial Cookery & Culinary and Patisserie (Pastry & Bakery) programmes for students in Fiji.
In her address, Ms Tang congratulated Pacific TAFE for the state-of-art facility and a simulated training centre for enthusiastic learners who are interested in pursuing a career in the specialised fields of hospitality operations, commercial cookery and patisserie.
She said that the Centre both compliments and complements the effort of collective stakeholders in the field of tourism, in preparing for and addressing the significant tourism growth.
“This Centre is exactly what the market needs – a quality facility for training entry level workforce, and ‘one-stop-shop’ for current industry employees seeking to upskill professional development and career advancement opportunities,” Ms Tang stated.
She highlighted that THE-ICE and USP have come a long way, and added that “we are proud to be the trusted external quality assurance partner of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM), in their pursuit of education excellence since 2010.”
Ms Tang commended the leadership of Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP for his commitment in the provision of quality education and research, in addressing the changing operating environment and responding to the needs of the Pacific region.
The Chief Guest encouraged industry partners, government officials, members of non-government organisations and future learners to take advantage of the qualifications offered through the Nadi Hospitality and Tourism Training Centre.
Professor Chandra said that the Centre will ensure accessibility of hospitality trainings for students and existing workers in the western division, which boasts majority of tourism activities in Fiji.
What distinguishes USP from other providers in the Pacific is its very strong commitment towards quality.
Professor Chandra highlighted that faculties are growing with accreditations at Bachelors and Postgraduate levels whilst Pacific TAFE is excelling from levels III to V as per the Fiji Qualifications Framework.
He assured that USP will continue to respond to the capacity building and development of human resources in the Pacific.
With a full commercial kitchen and training restaurant the Nadi Centre will focus on cookery and hospitality. Training will be practical, hands on and experience based.
Mr Hasmukh Lal, Executive Director of Pacific TAFE said that this training facility is one that the tourism and hospitality industry in the West deserve.
“In establishing this facility Pacific TAFE is not only supporting on-job training and development among the larger resorts, but also providing career pathways for young Fijians wanting to enter into an exciting and growing industry,” Mr Lal emphasised.
He added that tourism and mid-range to luxury hotel market is a rapidly growing market in the west of Fiji and one of the key constraints identified by Pacific TAFE’s industry partners is trained staff, hence the need to diversify skills based hospitality programmes in the Western division.
THE-ICE is a highly-regarded international quality assurance (QA) agency with 36 leading TH&E institutions comprising of higher education institutes, research universities, vocational colleges and private hotel schools from 15 countries.
Pacific TAFE is also planning to offer Diploma of Culinary Arts and Management and Diploma of Hospitality Management from 2018.
The Nadi Tourism and Hospitality Training Centre is located in Prime Complex, Commercial St, Namaka, Nadi.