USP to open new $1.3m Nadi Tourism & Hospitality Centre - Solomon Star News

USP to open new $1.3m Nadi Tourism & Hospitality Centre

17 August 2017
Hospitality students at USP’s Pacific Fusion Restaurant in Laucala Campus. [Photo supplied]

The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) will open its Tourism & Hospitality Centre in Namaka, Nadi tomorrow - 18 August 2017. This new facility is an investment of FJ$1.3million.

The facility is a simulated training centre which has a commercial kitchen, a restaurant and bar, as well as classrooms and staff offices for the delivery of Hospitality (Events, Food & Beverage, and Front Office), Commercial Cookery & Culinary and Patisserie (Pastry & Bakery) programmes.

With a full commercial kitchen and training restaurant, the Nadi Tourism & Hospitality Centre will focus on cookery and hospitality through Pacific TAFE’s Certificates III and IV in Commercial Cookery, Certificate III in Patisserie and Certificate IV in Hospitality Operations.

According to Mr Hasmukh Lal, Executive Director of Pacific TAFE, the need for such state-of-the-art facility in Nadi arose after discussions with relevant industry players and governments, where it was found that a big skills and development gap remains at the entry and para professional levels of employment and these levels make up a large proportion of the hospitality workforce.

Being a very responsive regional human resource development agency, USP expanded into skills training through its Pacific TAFE.

Mr Lal highlighted that the launching of the Nadi Hospitality & Tourism Centre will be a testament of market demand and make trainings more accessible to students and existing workers in the western division which boasts majority of tourism activities in Fiji.

“We encourage students from outside Fiji, to study at this Centre while we make provisions for regional students to study at a similar facility at Laucala Campus which has benefits of student accommodation,” Mr Lal added.

Nadi is the hub of Fiji’s tourism industry and it is also the gateway to the Pacific and the world. Thus the development of this training facility is very much growth driven and appropriate in terms of upgrading skills for tourism and hotel industry workers, provision of higher stair-casing qualification for existing workers and promoting professional development and career opportunities for new entrants.

The Executive Director emphasised that USP will soon become a ‘one stop shop’ in culinary and hospitality education allowing students to complete their learning journey with Pacific TAFE from Certificate level III to Diploma level 5 and have pathways into degree studies.

Ms Pauline Tang, Chief Executive Officer of The International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE) will be officially opening the facility in the presence of Professor Rajesh Chandra, USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Richard Coll, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Services, members of the University’s Senior Management Team and staff of Pacific TAFE.