TAFE Queensland is offering a unique opportunity for hospitality students to pair the theoretical knowledge of a university degree with the hands-on training of a TAFE qualification.
Students studying the Bachelor of International Tourism and Hotel Management at Griffith University can now complete a Certificate III in Hospitality as one of their elective subjects, arming them with real-world skills to take into the workforce.
Haoyu Zhang is one of the first students to complete the new program. While she could have been one of thousands of university graduates seeking employment upon graduation, Haoyu's TAFE qualification helped her stand out from the crowd and secure a job before she'd even finished her degree.
“Doing the Certificate III in Hospitality at TAFE Queensland as an elective has set me apart from other students as I have honed in on job-ready skills to enhance the theory-based learning at university,” Haoyu said.
“Having the vocational placement through the TAFE Queensland program has been monumental in my career as I have secured employment with my work experience provider.
“A lot of the TAFE Queensland’s teachers have worked in industry so their knowledge was relevant and up-to-date which provided us with first-hand information applicable to working life,” she said.
TAFE Queensland General Manager Karen Dickinson said TAFE Queensland has been focusing on the concept of combining VET and university for some years now with this program the first of its kind in the hospitality area.
“We have successfully identified where the two sectors can complement each other instead of being seen as two separate higher education pathways,” she said.
Ms Dickinson said the program produces a range of benefits including bringing the university and vocational education and training (VET) sectors together.
“This program shows that merging VET and university is the perfect balance, combining the theory of a degree with practical elements of TAFE Queensland’s model to produce highly sort-after graduates.”
The VET component is a 16-week course seamlessly embedded into the degree. It includes on-campus training as well as vocational placement at various businesses across the Gold Coast including Mantra on Viewand the Hard Rock Cafe.
The students acquire skills such as cookery, wine and table service, and barista and coffee making. They also obtain valuable micro credentials including Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Food Safety Certificates.
Study Gold Coast have part funded the hospitality program through their Vision 2020 funding.