St George College will offer a substantial boost for the hospitality industry in Adelaide by developing a Trade Training Centre. The centre, which is due to open in the second semester of this year, will offer a new training complex for students, young and adult, to complete their Certificates one to four in hospitality training.

Principal of St George College, George Panagopoulos, told Neos Kosmos there was a definite lack of this type of education not only in the surrounding area of the college, but also reflected in the skills shortages list in South Australia.

“We applied [for the Trade Training Centre] as it was about determining the need of our students and also the Western suburbs. At the time of application, the hospitality courses were on the skills shortages list and there wasn’t a school with this type of facility,” he said.

“That’s why we wanted to establish one.”

The application was done alongside a consortium group which includes the International College of Hotel Management, TAFE SA, Hospitality Training Group and many more and was a successful acquisition not only for St George College but also for the local community.

“St George College will run the Trade Training Centre in its own entity but we are linked with key and peak bodies in the hospitality industry,” Mr Panagopoulos said.

“We had to have support from people who would be able to offer their skills and services to implement the courses and we are delighted at the level of support we’ve received from the Commonwealth Government to our consortium partners, and the enthusiasm it has drawn already from not only the local, but national and international community.”

Mr Panagopoulos said that this course will allow students of the college and externally to complete this training and combine it as part of their South Australian Certificate of Education.

Apart from that, he said there is a lot of interest from people within the community to use the centre, including a lot of adults who are interested in undertaking short hospitality courses after hours. But the main focus is to compliment the students’ education.

“In discussion with the students, there was a strong need for them to have hospitality training. Equally, as part of our international students program, I noticed that there was a strong influx of international students coming into the country to fulfil a skills shortage list in hospitality and in the hospitality industry.

“Also, speaking to local suppliers like International Hotel School of Management and Western Futures, and as a board member, we realised that there was a great interest in hospitality.”

He said that the students have a lot to gain by having hospitality qualifications.

“It will open up their horizons,” Mr Panagopoulos said. “Their ability to interact with people in the hospitality industry – to be able to take orders, meet people, front of house, back of house, seek employment in cafes, restaurants and leading hotel chains, will provide them with opportunities to travel and meet people rather than your normal coffee culture; this is a bit more than that. It’s about upskilling students to be able to run their own restaurants and work as part of national and internationals chains.”