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Up Education

Inaugural NZMA Graduation and Students All Employed by Local Businesses

12 Dec 2018

11 December 2018 – Excitement is brewing as the first 45 students at the NZMA Rotorua campus prepare for their graduation on Thursday 13 December. With the campus only officially opening in February this year, the first group of students graduating is a momentous event for them and staff.

Graduating students have completed the New Zealand Certificate of Hospitality Level 2 and 3. Already, all the students have obtained a work contract with Compass Group, who operate at the Rotorua Energy Event Centre.

This is significant, as many of the students are second chance learners, and studying at NZMA has been a life changing pathway for them. The support of NZMA tutors and staff make the important difference in whether many students completing their studies and gaining employment skills.

Head of Faculty, Sandy McClay said, “We have a great partnership between NZMA and Rotorua Energy Events Centre, and our students are getting invaluable real-life experience which sets them up for further work. Compass Group have been very supportive of our students, and we are thrilled our students have performed so well.”

Steve McClay, Area Manager Compass Group says that they have always worked with education providers to enable future hospitality ‘stars’ to grow and learn. He adds, “This is a vital partnership. which supports NZMA and its students, but it also benefits Compass Group and our clients. The students bring a lot of enthusiasm, energy and creativity to the functions and events we hold at the centre, providing guests with a memorable experience each time they attend our events.

“It also allows us to train potential new employees during work experience, on our world-class practices, policies and procedures we can then identify and recruit amazing talent.

“My team has said a big benefit for them is, it allows them to become mentors and trainers to the students.”

Local student Ngahere Hatata will be graduating with New Zealand Certificate of Hospitality Level 3, and is continuing her studies in Level 4. Ngahere says, “I’ve learnt so much, and I’m currently working for the Rotorua Energy Events Centre as a part-time Catering Assistant. I’m doing Front-of-House such as tray service, waitressing, and bar work. My career goal is to become a Hotel Manager.”

Student Rushton Large, who is now studying Hospitality Level 4, finds hospitality works really well for him as a Seventh Day Adventist. He says, “I’m helping to organise the graduation this week, and it’s been a really great hands-on experience. The part-time hours really help me organise my life around what’s important to me – there’s not too many careers that you can do that with.”

With Rotorua continuing to shine as a premier tourist destination in New Zealand, NZMA is offering Level 4 now to its students.

NZMA is a well-established and leading hospitality management school, and first offered programmes in Rotorua last year from the New Zealand School of Tourism (NZST) campus. As part of the long term strategy in the region, opening the NZMA campus in Rotorua signalled the local demand for quality skills from employers, and the aim to cater for students keen to study hospitality.