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High standards demanded of tourism college’s students before entering workforce


AT SRIPATUM University’s College of Tourism and Hospitality, all students are required to adopt meet high standards of “the way you look, the way you speak, and the way you behave” before leaving school for real working life, its dean says.

 

Even though this college produces more than 800 graduates each year, that is not enough to meet the huge demand by hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and tourism organisations.
Over the past 10 years, the country has required more than 100,000 skilled workers per year for the rapidly growing tourism industry. Among the most urgent needs is for airline staff.
The Thai tourism industry will likely continue to grow through the next decade, which means more opportunity for first-jobbers. Many educational institutions and tourism schools have recognised the labour-shortage problem and have created tourism and hospitality curricula to fill the demand.
However, not every student will be able to attain the dream of working with airlines or cruise lines because of some critical requirements. Some potential employers will require them to meet international standards for foreign languages, minimum heights, and swimming skills. 
Monticha Khruasuwan, dean of the College of Tourism and Hospitality at Sripatum University, explained that qualifications for airline jobs differed from those at hotels, while cruise-line employees must be good swimmers. At hotels, marketing officers and housekeepers use different skills. Student may shift to other curriculum of not meet with criteria. 
“In Thailand, we are among 100 hotel or tourism schools producing fresh graduates to serve the market. Therefore, what we are doing differently from others is offering trained workers, not about to work after graduation,” she said.
“Under our slogan ‘The way you look, the way you speak, and the way you behave’, all students have to train and improve themselves to be persons of good character along with ability to communicate well in both Thai and foreign languages and to behave well in public from their first year of study.” 
The college has signed memoranda of understanding with five or six airlines including Thai Airways International and Nok Air, cruise lines, the Thai Hotels Association, travel companies, and tourism organisations for student internships. It will soon to sign an MoU with AirAsia.
Students will have to work on the site of one of the alliance organisations before they can graduate. 
Monticha said the college planned to introduce an MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) curriculum soon in order to serve this growing segment of tourism business. It is also set to open an airline-service course at its campus in Khon Kaen province. 
Moreover, the college helps draw in international students, especially from Southeast Asia and mainland China.
On a wider scale, Wirat Lertpaitoonpan, vice president of Sritapum University, said it became a WACE (Western Australian Certificate of Education) Global Institutional Partner six years ago along with several other universities in Thailand. Membership is aimed at exchanging academic knowledge, student internship programmes, and further cooperation.
“Our alliances and partners located globally will help present our strengths and, most important, offer chances for our students to get training overseas,” he said.
 

Published : February 07, 2017

By :  SUCHAT SRITAMA THE NATION