From left: Gerard Mendis, Nestlé Lanka Managing Director Jason Avanceña, Baurs MD and CEO Rolf Blaser and SLHGA VP Patrick Pereira
The Swiss Hotel Management Academy (SHMA) of A. Baur & Co. Ltd. recently partnered with Nestlé Lanka PLC as part of its private sector synergies aimed at upskilling young and rising talent in the sector.
SHMA is licensed to deliver the Vocational Education Training (VET) by EHL Professional Diploma program from the pioneer in hospitality education since 1893 with over 25,000 alumni worldwide and over 120 nationalities.
The agreement was signed on December last year between A. Baur & Co. Ltd. (Baurs) Managing Director and CEO Rolf Blaser and Nestlé Lanka PLC Managing Director Jason Avanceña in the presence of officials representing both Baurs and Nestlé Lanka including senior delegates from Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Hospitality Graduates Association’ (SLHGA).
As the largest food and beverage company in the world with an unwavering commitment and contribution towards healthier families, empowered communities and a greener Sri Lanka for over 115 years, Nestlé Lanka took the initiative to fully sponsor the prestigious VET Professional Diploma of EHL for participants within the industry enhancing their skills and qualifying them with the best hospitality certification available out there.
The primary objective of this private sector synergy is to equip many with a world class education from VET by EHL, building on their years of experience. The students were awarded scholarships on 9 January, following the registration and enrolment into the program, and the Diplomas programs will be facilitated by EHL certified facilitators and industry veterans at SHMA.
“We are excited about our partnership with Nestlé Lanka and the drive to equip our vibrant talent pool in the country with the necessary knowledge and skills from the world’s most sought-after hospitality education provider. This is the first of the many collaborations to come, and we are proud to be a part of such initiatives that will go on to uplift and showcase our diverse and international quality hospitality standards to the world,” said Blaser.
Avanceña also highlighted the importance of the country’s hospitality sector and the challenges in the recent years, and the timely need to support future hoteliers and professionals in the food service industry, by collaborating with other organisations who share the similar vision and values.
The participants were exempted from the foundation level based on their previous industrial experiences and skills, allowing them direct enrolment to the Intermediate level, following the advanced diploma program through an apprenticeship approach in their current workplace, which will be monitored and evaluated by SHMA.
The apprenticeship comprises an intense weekly one-day theoretical and practical learning followed by a comprehensive five-day ‘on-the-job’ training. SHMA is the first hospitality management institute in Sri Lanka to offer an apprenticeship model through the VET by EHL programs and have signed up numerous partner hotels with many more joining.
EHL Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is an ambassador for traditional Swiss hospitality and the world’s first hospitality management school that provides undergraduate and graduate programs at its campuses in Lausanne, Singapore and Chur-Passugg, as well as online learning solutions. The programs are based on the Swiss Competency Framework, one of the best education models in the world.
SHMA also recently established a private and public sector partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to localise and implement the RIESCO program in Sri Lanka through its Skills for Sustainable Growth (SSG) initiative.
The SSG initiative which is aimed at supporting Sri Lanka’s hospitality and tourism industry will play an important role in minimising the skills gap and uplifting the quality of education to attain the pinnacle of excellence, through numerous activities that will increase female participation, build a competent talent pool, enhance quality standards in par with global trends, and making the country among the best tourist destinations. This will also help take off the burden on the state and contribute to not just industry but the reputation and economy as well.