8 October 2015,


QUEENSLAND has received its first six-star hospitality training course ahead of the proposed Queen's Wharf development, with 14 student entries already secured.

The multibillion-dollar development has created demand for hospitality skilled Queenslanders, with TAFE Queensland and Echo Entertainment Group partnering to develop programs aimed at improving the industry.

CEO of Echo Entertainment Group (ASX:EGP) Matt Bekier says he's excited by the career pipeline the Queen's Wharf development will create for locals interested in retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment work.

"Our Queen's Wharf development will make Brisbane a 'must go' destination for international travellers," Bekier says.

"When you team that up with the global drawcards that south-east Queensland continues to attract, such as the G20 Leaders Summit, the Asia Pacific Cities Summit and the Commonwealth Games, TAFE Queensland will have a vital role in helping deliver world class chefs, world class hotel staff and world class hospitality staff."

Training and Skills Minister Yvette D'Ath says the Brisbane CBD development could provide job-ready Queenslanders more than 8000 ongoing roles, on top of more than 2000 jobs needed during the construction stage.

"It is essential that we make the most of this long-term opportunity for thousands of Queensland workers," D'Ath says.

"This partnership between TAFE Queensland and Echo Entertainment is laying the groundwork to cater for the next generation of skills demanded by the world-class project and similar high-end tourism opportunities across the state."

TAFE Queensland and Echo Entertainment Group partnered in June to create the new Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School, delivering tailored programs and qualifications to meet the latest industry requirements and highest international standards.

D'Ath met the first 14 students starting the new International Hospitality Service Program while joining them at a skills training session in fine dining place-setting, and a food and wine-matching class.

"This first cohort of students are the future of Queensland's and Australia's six-star tourism industry," D'Ath says.

"The Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School graduates will be job-ready for five and six-star hotels and the region's finest restaurants, lifting the quality of the entire industry in southeast Queensland."

Jodi Schmidt, CEO TAFE Queensland says the partnership was a new era for education and training in Queensland.

"This partnership will see two leading organisations working hand-in-hand to deliver the best outcomes for industry and students. Training delivered through the school will prepare students to take a job anywhere in the world," Schmidt says.

"With Echo as our industry partner to support this training, we'll be turning out the state's next generation of highly skilled tourism and hospitality employees. That's what Queensland needs to prosper in the ultra-competitive tourism industry."

Building on Echo Entertainment and TAFE Queensland's current relationship, the school provides three new six-star training programs, with six star International Hospitality Service Program, Culinary Arts apprenticeships and Front of House apprenticeships.






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