In­dus­try play for Drys­dale

Hos­pi­tal­ity skills need pri­or­ity, says re­port

Sunday Tasmanian - - Front Page - DAVID BENIUK david.beniuk@news.com.au

THE once world renowned Drys­dale hos­pi­tal­ity school would be cut loose from TasTAFE as part of a rad­i­cal so­lu­tion to skills short­ages be­ing pushed by in­dus­try heavy­weights.

A task­force, in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Mona, Fed­eral Group and The Maria Is­land Walk, has rec­om­mended the cam­puses be part of a sep­a­rate cor­po­ra­tion gov­erned by an in­dus­try board.

The Ser­vic­ing Our Growth re­port, ob­tained by the Sun­day Tas­ma­nian, says Drys­dale has lost its fo­cus on the ur­gent needs of the sec­tor.

TASTAFE should hand con­trol of its Drys­dale cam­puses to the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, a heavy­weight task­force ex­am­in­ing crip­pling skills short­ages has rec­om­mended.

The once world-renowned train­ing school has come in for ma­jor crit­i­cism from the State Gov­ern­ment’s Tourism and Hos­pi­tal­ity Task­force, which in­cludes rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Mona, Fed­eral Group and The Maria Is­land Walk.

The group’s Ser­vic­ing Our Growth re­port, ob­tained by the Sun­day Tas­ma­nian, rec­om­mends Drys­dale be cut loose from TasTAFE man­age­ment and be over­seen by a board of in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“In­dus­try be­lieves that Drys­dale is cur­rently more fo­cused on ed­u­ca­tional par­tic­i­pa­tion and stu­dent en­gage­ment than on in­dus­try work­force de­vel­op­ment and skills pri­or­i­ties,” the re­port finds.

“In­dus­try re­quires Drys- dale to change . . . and fo­cus greater ef­forts on in­dus­try en­gage­ment, con­tem­po­rary in­dus­try knowl­edge, re­la­tion­ships and re­spon­sive­ness.”

The re­port hits Gov­ern­ment desks as the Bud­get al­lo­cates $3.2 mil­lion to turn Drys­dale’s Ho­bart cam­pus into a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence.

The tim­ing of that an­nounce­ment, made 10 days ago, has left some in the in­dus­try per­plexed.

It also comes amid tur­moil at TasTAFE over CEO Stephen Con­way’s res­ig­na­tion af­ter an In­tegrity Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The task­force re­com- mends TasTAFE cre­ate a wholly owned sub­sidiary cor­po­ra­tion with its own brand to run tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity train­ing.

In­dus­try should play a lead­ing role al­lo­cat­ing train­ing funds to over­come a “dis­pro­por­tion­ate fo­cus” on na­tional qual­i­fi­ca­tions at the ex­pense of ur­gent lo­cal needs, the re­port rec­om­mends.

Pri­vate train­ing providers would con­tinue to com­pete for a share of funds.

An “in­dus­try col­lege” should be in­ves­ti­gated with tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity cur­ricu­lum em­bed­ded into cour­ses and al­low­ing stu-

dents to grad­u­ate with a TCE, school-based ap­pren­tice­ship, diploma or ad­vanced diploma and path­way to UTAS.

“The in­dus­try col­lege should be­come the breed­ing ground for the next gen­er­a­tion of Tas­ma­nian in­dus­try lead­ers and en­trepreneurs,” the re­port says.

Among its 18 rec­om­men­da­tions are:

FUND­ING sep­a­rated from TasTAFE for the newly cre­ated cor­po­ra­tion.

A PRO­MO­TIONAL cam­paign on ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties in the sec­tor be de­vel­oped.

SCHOOL-BASED new ap­pren­tice­ships be pro­moted.

A SUP­PORT pack­age to tran­si­tion long-term un­em­ployed be de­vel­oped.

SHORTER, more fo­cused qual­i­fi­ca­tions be con­sid­ered.

RE­SEARCH into dropout rates be com­pleted.

The in­dus­try big guns, headed by Tourism Tas­ma­nia chair James Cre­tan, were tasked in De­cem­ber with find­ing a so­lu­tion to skills short­ages that could in­crease as sev­eral ma­jor ho­tels open in Ho­bart.

The Tas­ma­nian Hos­pi­tal­ity As­so­ci­a­tion has es­ti­mated 300 va­can­cies for chefs and cooks around the state.

Hun­dreds of jobs also need fill­ing in ac­com­mo­da­tion and tour op­er­a­tions.

Tas­ma­nia is on track to wel­come at least 1.5 mil­lion tourists — up from the cur­rent 1.24 mil­lion — in 2020.

It is es­ti­mated a work­force of 20,000 will be needed, up from 15,000 in 2012-13.

“In­dus­try will reap the re­wards or taste the bit­ter­ness of fail­ure from their own plan­ning en­gage­ment and lead­er­ship of the sec­tor,” the re­port says.

A State Gov­ern­ment spokesman said the re­port’s rec­om­men­da­tions were be­ing con­sid­ered.

“We are com­mit­ted to work­ing with in­dus­try to en­sure Tas­ma­ni­ans have the op­por­tu­nity to work in this ex­cit­ing and boom­ing in­dus­try,” he said.

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