As the hospitality sector gears up for the Rugby World Cup 2011, ensuring stadium staff are well-prepared to host the many thousands of fans is a top priority.
Leading the charge to up-skill service staff in Auckland and Hamilton for the event is hospitality training provider New Zealand Management Academies (NZMA). That’s thanks to official endorsement by Eden Park Catering and approval from Rugby New Zealand 2011 and the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI).
NZMA recently signed a formal partnership with Eden Park Catering, which now holds monthly recruitment drives at the stadium, specifically for NZMA students. It is also one of just two PTEs (private training establishments) in the country who have been approved to deliver EventStarNZ, the hospitality training programme developed by HSI and the RWC 2011 hospitality steering group. Eighty five percent of staff employed by the stadium for the Rugby World Cup will be required to have an EventStarNZ qualification and badge.
NZMA’s Director of New Business and Product Development, Mark Worsop, says NZMA is thrilled to be involved in New Zealand’s largest ever sporting event at such a grass roots level.
“This endorsement by Eden Park is testament to the quality of our courses and our reputation within the industry. We have a great portfolio of hospitality programmes, including our new Edexcel and NZQA accredited Level 5 and Level 6 diplomas and our City & Guilds qualifications. Now we can also offer EventStarNZ programmes and strong employment pathways to Eden Park,” says Worsop.
“We will be encouraging as many of our existing hospitality students as possible to complete a half-day EventStarNZ course in order to maximize their employment opportunities for getting work at Eden Park during the games.”
NZMA Waikato is currently working on a similar partnership with Hamilton-based Montana Catering. The provider will begin delivering EventStarNZ across all its four academies in May.
In addition to EventStarNZ, NZMA has developed its own range of accredited short courses pitched primarily towards international visitors to New Zealand who are hoping to pick up some part-time hospitality work during the Rugby World Cup 2011. The courses have just been launched and range from one week to six weeks. Topics include barista, customer service, food safety and licence controller qualifications.
The range of programmes on offer, combined with the expertise of NZMA’s own employment service, Redfish, will ensure positive work outcomes for those keen to be a part of RWC 2011. Redfish Employment Specialist Aaron Chee and General Manager Angela Cathcart work closely with Eden Park Catering and were instrumental in forging the new partnership.
“Eden Park has had a relationship with NZMA for a long-time. Thanks to this new partnership, this relationship has now been formalized and stepped up a notch. They have only endorsed one other provider so it is quite prestigious for us,” says Cathcart.
“Now on a monthly basis recruitment drives are held at Eden Park purely for NZMA students. Students are given a tour of the site and interviews are conducted. Thirty-eight NZMA students gained employment at the stadium following the first three drives.
“The team at Eden Park are very confident about the level of our NZMA students and always give us great feedback around their presentation, willingness and motivation to work. They are looking for people with the right attitude, and also the right skills and qualifications. It’s going to be nuts during the Rugby World Cup so they need people who are going to get the job done. Our students will do that.”
But the partnership is not only advantageous for Eden Park. It’s a win-win situation all round.
“This is a great opportunity for our students to gain work experience, a good reference and an income while they are working towards their dream goals. Not to mention the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of working at the stadium during the Rugby World Cup 2011!”
According to Cathcart between 10,000 and 15,000 staff will be needed to serve the 1.7 million fans that are expected to attend the 48 matches around New Zealand.
Those interested in training their staff for EventStarNZ can contact NZMA for further details.