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Quality must be priority for hospitality sector as tourism recovery accelerates – graduation hears

06 March 2014

Renowned Shannon College of Hotel Management delivers 100% graduate employment rate for 63rd year in succession

Students working in exclusive international hotels such as Waldorf Astoria, St. Andrews and The Dorchester

The hospitality sector’s need to fill 3,000 posts must not be met at the expense of quality, the director of the world renowned Shannon College of Hotel Management has urged.

Speaking at the college’s annual graduation ceremony, at which it reported its 63rd successive year of 100% graduate employment, Philip Smyth said that Ireland’s reputation in the hospitality sector sets it apart globally.

Of the 92 students who graduated today from the college, which is a wholly owned enterprise of Shannon Airport Authority, over half are international, having come to study in Shannon to benefit from the college’s standards and graduate success rate. 

The graduates also enjoy an exclusive placement programme which sees students spending their two placement terms at some of the world’s best known hotels, among them The Savoy Hotel, London; The Waldorf Astoria, New York;  The Dorchester, London;  Fairmont St Andrews, Scotland; Kiwah Island Resort, USA; Intercontinental Hotel Doha, Qatar and the Hyatt Hotel Hong Kong.

Said its director, “As tourism recovers over the next few years, hotels have to continue to compete on price and continue to match other attractive destinations with a high quality product.  Quality is what the Irish industry is noted for, particularly in relation to service and we cannot lose focus of that.

“The industry is embarking on a period of recruitment and hiring, therefore ‘quality’ needs to be a top priority for hotels as they select candidates to fill these positions. This will best be achieved if we encourage the brightest and the best into the industry. 

 “The reason we have 100 percent graduate employment rates, which is a proud record we have retained since the college was founded over 60 years ago, is because of the dedication to quality that we have at the College.  This dates back to the foundation of the college and that’s why today we have relationships with some of the best known and most exclusive hotels in the world.”

Some 54 of today’s 92 graduates are from the Seychelles, China, Portugal, India, Germany, Egypt, New Zealand and South Korea, with the 38 Irish graduates coming from counties Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Sligo, Wexford, Dublin, Kildare, Westmeath, Galway, Waterford and Mayo.

The top award at the graduation ceremony, the Banfi Foundation Scholarship, went to Darragh Culhane, Pallaskenry, who will undertake a professional development programme at the world famous Cornell University  The $10,000 scholarship is provided by Banfi which is ranked among the world’s most prestigious wine houses. 

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