ECHO'S EDUCATIONAL BID

Written on the 21 January 2015

ECHO'S EDUCATIONAL BID BRISBANE could be set to get Australia's best Asia-facing hotel and hospitality school, if Echo Entertainment Group (ASX: EGP) has its way with Queen's Wharf.

The Destination Brisbane Consortium (DBC), involving Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Food and Far East Consortium, has announced the first of its proposed strategic partnerships in the establishment of its Queensland Hotel & Hospitality School.

Through DBC's TAFE Queensland relationship, students of the school would be trained across food and beverage, hotel and entertainment, gaming, security, and management programs.

The students would have the opportunity to gain experience, through trainee and apprenticeship programs, at Queen's Wharf's five premium branded hotels, 50 food and beverage outlets, and other entertainment facilities such as QPAC's Lyric Theatre and Riverfront moonlight cinema.

EGP CEO Matt Bekier says the world-class precinct would advance the careers of thousands.

"Through DBC's partnership with TAFE Queensland, we're training that generation of staff and providing the opportunity to gain the sort of experience that is coveted around the world," says Bekier.

"Our proposed Hotel & Hospitality School will provide first class training for up to 11,000 team members - 3,400 already based at our SE Queensland properties with a further increase of 8,000 with a successful outcome on the Queen's Wharf bid."

TAFE Queensland CEO Jodi Schmidt says the partnership would also give students the opportunity to tap into EGP's strong Asian market knowledge.

"This partnership will deliver a new era in education and, by leveraging DBC's strong knowledge of the key Asian tourism market, our students will be better prepared to take on a job anywhere in the world," says Schmidt.

The announcement builds on the existing relationship between the two entities, which already supports the next generation of chefs through Echo's Culinary Institute, creating opportunities for training and mentoring through the Chef Apprenticeship program.

EGP is bidding against James Packer's Crown Resorts Limited (ASX: CWN) for rights to Queen's Wharf.

Pictured: EGP's proposed Queen's Wharf development




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