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Training Hotel For FNU Proposed With $12m Budget

The Fiji National University’s National Training and Productivity Centre is planning to build a training hotel for its students. This facility has been proposed to be built in Legalega, Nadi,
25 Jul 2015 10:15
Training Hotel For FNU Proposed With $12m Budget
The site in Legalega, Nadi, where the Training Hotel is proposed to be built.

The Fiji National University’s National Training and Productivity Centre is planning to build a training hotel for its students.

This facility has been proposed to be built in Legalega, Nadi, and was on the drawing board of the former TPAF which led to the acquisition of the land in Nadi.

National Training and Productivity Centre Director, Kamlesh Prakash, confirmed this.

Mr Prakash said the Legalega Training Hotel has a proposed budget of $12 million in the FNU Strategic Plan.

“The training hotel is expected to meet the needs of the hotel and tourism industry,” he said.

“Also provide hands on practical attachments to our students enrolled in a variety of hospitality programmes.”

 

The facilities

The residential training facility will provide the 24/7 support to host supervisory, management, executive and other national and international training at the training hotel.

Mr Prakash said this can give them the edge in conducting intensive programmes in shorter durations thereby reducing the costs of training and providing a conducive learning environment.

“The Legalega Campus will be developed as a green campus which will showcase environmentally-friendly approaches for resource and waste use,” he said.

“It will house a demonstration project on use of solid waste from the hotel for other hotels and resorts to learn from.

“Legalega is also posed to become an arboretum showcasing indigenous trees and scrubs of the Fiji and the Pacific Islands.

“It will include a cultural centre type facility where local products can be made on the spot and sold.

“More importantly where these local handicraft and other traditional skills can be taught to those interested through this knowledge centre.”

A health and wellness course, including a fitness and Yoga centre and a Spa are part of the plans.

 

Stakeholder response

Mr Prakash said they have had multiple consultations with industry stakeholders on this proposal.

“All are favourable to the idea and have given us the support and good feedback to go ahead,” He said.

Stakeholders include the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, as well as the Ministry of Education.

 

Why Nadi?

We asked Mr Prakash why Nadi was selected for the location of the training hotel.

His response: “The land enjoys a strategic location within minutes from the International Airport, Nadi Town, and is close to most of the hotels and resorts in Nadi and Denarau.

“It is also in close proximity of Lautoka City as well.

“Major operations for work force and operations in hospitality and tourism sector operates in the Western Division.

“Thus this development will assist the university in reaching out to the industry in many ways.”

The past year, around 5000 students were in NTPC’s hospitality programmes.

Mr Prakash said they envisage this number to continue annually for the coming years.

 

Industry

Discussion Forum

A major concern highlighted during the recently-held series of Industry Discussion Forum was for NTPC to lift the standard of training in terms of facilities provided and quality of attachment experience given to students.

“This is something that will be seriously looked into through a number of capital projects expected to start soon. We would like to emphasize on quality outcomes for customers rather than quantity,” Mr Prakash said.

We interviewed Mr Prakash on other plans, the success of the Industry Discussion Forum and outcomes.

 

Sun Interview

What was the Industry Discussion Forum and its purpose?

The Industry Discussion Forum (IDF) is one of the most significant annual events in the National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) calendar, is a forum through which we promote industry-academia collaboration.

The forum provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and views with the industry partners in relation to industry training and development needs, and we get to understand the needs of industry through active dialogue with them. The Forum provides employers information on the NTPC training and services and seek input from the industry on the adequacy and relevance of our programmes.

The Forum also aims to identify current and future training needs of industry so that the Centre could facilitate and provide the same.

 

How was the turnout and where was it held?

Compared to previous years the numbers participating in the forum this year have increased signifying increased interest of stakeholders in wishing to contribute to the national training effort and in upskilling their employees. Over 500 persons attended the IDFs in Suva, Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka and Labasa.

 

What were some of the things highlighted by NTPC at this gathering?

  • Share with the industry the training and consultancy services offered by NTPC
  • Evaluate how well or otherwise the NTPC meets the existing industry training needs
  • Inform industry of the NTPC restructure, activities and services
  • Inform industry of NTPC/FNU’s commitment in addressing industry needs
  • Strengthen industry networking and collaboration
  • Encouraged face to face discussion with key stakeholders
  • Re-emphasised the importance of the Industry training Advisory Committees and why industry needs to take an active role in providing inputs for training.
  • We wanted industry to inform us of the competencies they needs for all different work groups so that our trainings can help provide for these.

 

What were some of the major concerns of the industry?

The major concern addressed by the industry was the lack of training being made available to smaller towns and remote areas as well as to the hotel industry at large.

This will certainly be addressed by NTPC through new initiatives such as a mobile training scheme. The NTPC has a mandate to provide training to organisations so that they become efficient, productive and can compete in the domestic, national, regional and global markets.

It is also critical that the programmes that are offered remain relevant to the present and future needs of industry.

We therefore have a duty to ensure that our trainings are practical, relevant and meet the specific industry needs.

At the same time, the trainees must grasp the necessary and relevant skill sets for their jobs and ensure that the investment by their employers are worthwhile.

NTPC being the national training provider offers short courses in a diverse range of areas through its three training divisions, namely, the Division of Business and Information Technology, the Division of Executive Management and Hospitality Services and the Division of Technical Training

Secondly, for NTPC to lift the standard of training in terms of facilities provided and quality.

This is something that will be seriously looked into through a number of capital projects expected to start soon.

We are also reviewing our HR needs and would like more experienced practitioners from industry to join us. We would like to emphasise quality rather than quantity.

For trade testing and the apprenticeship scheme, the lack of know how amongst the industry on how it operates and its benefit to employers was again a concern that was raised.

NTPC is already formulating approaches and intensifying its marketing to counter all these issues and provide the country with a diverse range of training in all areas.

 

What is NTPC’s vision for the business community?

The NTPC has a mandate to provide training to organisations so that they become efficient, productive and can compete in the domestic and overseas markets.

Together with the work done by other provider’s, we would like to see our workers, managers and CEOsfully trained and equipped with necessary and relevant skills to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively.

We would like all employers to understand productivity so that they can manage all their resources effectively without any waste and contribute to a clean and green Fiji.

 

What is the message for the industry?

Industry is the final recipient of all training provided by NTPC and the different providers.

Therefore, it is critical that industry takes the ownership and provides inputs into program formulation of all providers so that it makes clear their expectations of the competencies and skills it wants all categories of employees to possess.

Without this clarity we will continue to have the ‘hit or miss’ situation and training providers may continue to play a guessing game in so far as provision of training is concerned.

We must work together to change these practices of the past, and if we are able to profile the graduate attributes better all employers, industry and indeed Fiji will be the winner!

Feedback: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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