Shangri-La opens Employee Training Centre in China

Travel News Asia 9 December 2004

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has opened a centralised employee training centre near Beijing, the Shangri-La Academy. Created to speed and intensify employee development in pace with the group's rapid China growth, the Academy's progressive training methods focus on critical thinking, problem-solving and empowerment.

The group's China expansion from 17 hotels to at least 32 by 2007, requires its current China workforce to grow from nearly 10,000 to approximately 19,000. The Academy provides students from throughout China the tools and training to deliver Shangri-La's brand of Asian hospitality and service.

"The establishment of Shangri-La Academy demonstrates our long-term dedication to the Chinese hospitality workforce," said Giovanni Angelini, chief executive officer and managing director of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. "With the ascendancy of China as a world economic power and Olympics 2008 over the horizon, this commitment is critical."

Consisting of six training rooms, library, computer lab, demonstration kitchen and lecture hall, training kitchen, training restaurant and lounge, mock-up room and on-campus accommodation for learners, the two-story, 1,788-square-metre Academy is located in the Oriental University City, Lang Fang Economic and Technology Development Zone in China's Hebei Province, and is a one-hour drive from downtown Beijing.

The Academy's five-week to three-month training programmes feature four core areas: culinary arts, food and beverage service, front office operation and housekeeping operation. The programmes adopt progressive instructional methodology: interactive, hands-on, solution-oriented, outcome driven and industry relevant. Trainees will learn how to examine, even question the reasons why "things are done in a certain way."

"Customers today have expectations that are more diverse, less predictable, and may even appear illogical," says Zhou Fuyou, principal of the Academy. "With an increasingly internationlised clientele, the hospitality worker is faced with more complex and discerning customers to please."

An advanced Hospitality Management Programme features seminars and workshops in cross-cultural understanding, critical thinking skills and humanities subjects to instil an inquisitive and multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving.

To share knowledge and firsthand experiences, senior Shangri-La staff members appear as guest speakers to teach selected modules and facilitate discussions.

The Academy's training programmes also provide a networking forum for future exchanges and collaborations among Shangri-La employees across the country. As Principal Zhou explained, "The trainees of Shangri-La Academy will be bearers of the seeds of Shangri-La hospitality wherever they go."

See other recent news from: Shangri-La

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