The IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management, which has campuses in Newlands, Cape Town, and Rosebank, Johannesburg, told Tourism Update that its eLearning was uniquely designed to ensure an enriching experience that provided direct access to industry or further education upon completion.

“Students can collaborate with peers, get lecturer feedback, and complete activities simulated after real-world tasks. This develops our students' digital awareness and technological skills vital to navigating the hospitality systems and technical functions,” noted Nande Sulelo, Teaching and Learning Manager at The IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management.

Sulelo added that its student numbers for distance learning had increased over the last few years.

“Students are attracted to the flexibility of distance learning where they can maintain employment whilst also advancing their qualifications. Others had a taste of distance learning during the pandemic and saw it as a better means of educational attainment than traditional means.”

The school’s distance learning option offers potential students the opportunity to pursue their Bachelor's, Diploma, or Higher Certificate qualifications through its interactive eLearning platform.

“The current world is mediated online, and every industry needs a technologically literate base. This is crucial in hospitality because businesses can extend to their staff educational opportunities whilst they work. Learning is no longer limited to the classroom.

“So the ability to upskill those currently in employment has been a huge help to the industry as their managers can further their education and gain new skills without losing time on the job. This also takes care of placement challenges, where the in-class learning and the job training can occur concurrently,” said Sulelo.

Efficient training platform’

Lischen Gurovich, Group Human Resources Manager at City Lodge Hotels, agreed that eLearning initiatives offered the hospitality industry an efficient platform to train staff effectively.

“We have found that short, straight-to-the-point courses offer our employees a great medium for training, as it can be accessed from anywhere at any time. It also offers a wide array of courses and training material, so whenever employees find a free moment in this ever-growing and busy space, they can access the eLearning platform at the click of a button.”

Johannes Du Plooy, ANEW Hotels & Resorts’ Group Training & Development Manager, said the hospitality group offered three methodologies of virtual learning, with each method customised to its specific employee profiles and skill levels:

Self-directed virtual learning channels for employees: Employees have the opportunity to complete a variety of courses at their own pace and time, either virtually (for those who are confident and competent using PCs) or manually (for those who are not confident with PCs and prefer a more traditional approach of learning). The content and concept are the same with the only difference being that its teams can print course material and complete a required ‘Portfolio of Evidence’ either online or manually to showcase competence in the specific subject matter.

E-learning: ANEW offers these opportunities to both its junior and senior teams across multiple business locations around South Africa. “We see great value as our junior employees can hone their skills via e-learning platforms while our senior employees can sharpen their leadership skills at any time and day of the week. We found great benefits in this method of training as our teams can access content from anywhere. It offers great flexibility and we can adapt and customise learning content specific to our business wants and needs,” said Du Plooy.

Virtual instructor-led development opportunities: This allows ANEW’s employees the ability and the opportunity to engage with peers, colleagues, and the facilitator in a virtual environment that still ensures the ‘personal touch’ to its learning. “We are, after all, in the ‘people business’ and at ANEW Hotels & Resorts we enjoy these types of engagements as this instils, drives, and encourages our brand slogan of ‘You’re Welcome’. It is important for our teams to feel welcomed and appreciated no matter what the method of learning is,” Du Plooy concluded.

 by Christiaan Schultz