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Industry ties - key to developing skilled tourism & hospitality employees

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Tourism and hospitality careers are hands-on, fun, and interactive, offering exciting opportunities and global possibilities. Vocational education and training for the sector prepares candidates with practical skills and experience ensuring graduates are well prepared and job-ready.

Education providers today have identified the importance of workplace learning, volunteering, and industry contact as crucial elements in providing the understanding of real-life operations required for a student to become work ready.

Stakeholder engagement and effective two-way communication is crucial to the success of any venture and education is no different. To maximise learning potential, and in turn benefits to industry from suitably trained employees, it is crucial that the insights, challenges, and opportunities of the tourism and hospitality landscapes are understood.

Though some trends are cyclical, awareness of all trends can be gained through memberships to industry bodies, engagement in conversations with organisational peers, and constant, vigilant market research.

Relying on in-house academics and collaborative industry advisory bodies allows institutions to not only tap into discussions on industry trends, but also to provide the forum for discussion, lead the thought process to innovate and provide future growth solutions through flexible training, contextualised with consideration of the market.


Such a constant focus on learning and development of staff, in any organisation, shows a commitment to and respect for the evolution of the industries we work in. Skills need to be refreshed as the landscape changes (both metaphorically and physically). As tourism marketing moves with the innovations in the digital space, as new markets grow their hospitality and tourism offerings, and as global customers have increasingly higher expectations, service standards need ongoing evaluation and refreshing.

Insights gained from collaborating with industry bodies and leading organisations can be invaluable to staff, with collaborative partnerships also leading to growth and mutually beneficial outcomes.

The opportunity to get hands-on experience and learn in real-life scenarios gives students the confidence and practical understanding of the theory they already know. In a workplace, training can also be delivered in a contextualised environment for maximum knowledge retention.

A focus on industry collaboration through various facets of the training process ensures skill units are aligned with the needs of the industry, ensuring graduates have the practical knowledge required to boost the standards of the hospitality and tourism sectors upon gaining employment.

When students and employees participate in collaborative partnerships and engage with industry bodies, new perspectives and ideas can be brought back to the workplace for improvement and refinement of processes and practices. Networking at industry events also provides opportunities to share ideas and, for students, collaboration through volunteer work can provide inspiration and a better understanding of the opportunities and possibilities available in the field.

Engaging with stakeholders and investing in collaboration is ultimately what will see tourism and hospitality industries continue to grow and strengthen standards. With a dedication to learning and working with industry, institutions must lead by example in this area and always be looking to grow partnerships and adapt training to anticipate and meet the needs of these vibrant vocational industries.

Authored by: the William Angliss Institute