They’re earning as they’re learning, and they’re making a real difference in Irish hotels.
Students sponsored by their hotel employers have just completed a BA in Hotel Management at the Institute of Technology, Tralee (ITT) over three years.
The programme is the first blended learning approach of its kind in Ireland – and it’s already making an impact in the industry.
This brand new approach to Hotel Management education in Ireland combines traditional classroom lectures with work-based learning and on-line modules.
Students from hotels in Sligo, Mayo, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Cork, Limerick and Kerry have studied over three years to attain their degree in Hotel Management. Students work in the hotels and attend college in intensive study blocks with on-line modules delivered weekly.
The Institute of Technology Tralee is leading the way in delivering this combined approach to respond to industry requirements for hotel managers with highly-focused, industry specific degrees as well as practical, on-the-job experience.
President of the Institute of Technology, Tralee, Dr Oliver Murphy said ‘Using technology to enhance our provision of education has allowed us to respond to the Irish Hotels Federation’s need to train and educate the next generation of hotel managers nationwide,” he said.
“The response from the hotel industry has been enthusiastic - the hotel industry is renowned for promoting from within and the demand for highly qualified hotel managers has never been as great”
Student Bjorn Minnie, trainee manager at The Malton Hotel, Killarney, believes the Trainee Hotel Manager Programme has provided him with the opportunity to earn and learn at the same time.
The South African native – one of the first in Ireland to qualify with a BA from this new course - says the three-year programme at the ITT has been hugely beneficial in terms of adding to his practical experience and his performance on the job.
“The three years have flown by and the delivery suits our style of learning,” he said.
“You develop a great network of other trainee managers throughout the country and you learn from each other – and more importantly, you learn from the best in industry and education.”
Bjorn along with fellow classmate Orla O’ Driscoll (Killarney Plaza Hotel) both received Student Awards for outstanding contribution over the three years of the programme.