Creating Skills for life


Hospitality training changes lives

Jan 13, 2012

Since Primary School Clifford Bule, a bubbly 23 year old male, had dreamed of becoming a Primary School Teacher so he could assist his unemployed parents who were living in the island on Enkul Village, Central Pentecost. Like most parents who want their children to have a good education Bule's parents were not different. They wanted Bule to be a teacher so when he passed his primary school examinations, his parents were thrilled. Bule had to move to Port Vila to continue his secondary education, however, his dream of becoming a school teacher was short lived because his parents could not afford to pay for his school fees so he had to drop off school midway and look for a job. Bule was able to get part time jobs at some of the hotels in Port Vila. While working in these hotels he met former and current students of the Vanuatu School of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Training Centre who spoke highly of the courses they were taking and encouraged him to apply. Their stories inspired Bule to start thinking of pursuing a certificate in Hospitality full time to improve himself as he likes working with people and especially meeting people of different nationalities.

In between his holiday jobs at the different hotels Bule started saving some money to pay for his school fees. With this he was able to complete a Certificate course in Hospitality at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology's Tourism Centre. After graduating from VIT, Bule went to work in one of the major hotels in Port Vila and later moved to a boutique resort outside of Port Vila as a Waiter for 3 years.

Bule wanted to improve himself further so he can provide a better service to his clients and also his employer so he applied to Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) Vanuatu Campus to do the Certificate III in Hospitality where he successfully completed in 2010. In 2011 he went on to complete the Certificate IV in Hospitality. It was while he was doing the APTC courses that he heard from one of his friends about the opportunity to work overseas in the cruise ship industry. The P&O Cruises Australia were recruiting some Ni Vanuatu to work on MV Pacific Jewel, so he applied for a job on the boat. His application was successful and he started work in 2011.

Bule was first recruited to work in the Crew's Mess but after only 2 months there he was moved to work in the Plantation Restaurant on the Ship. Bule had received very good comments from the cruise passengers which impressed the Hotel Director who personally called Bule to congratulate him and asked where he had worked previously and also where he had trained. Three years of working in the hotel industry in Vanuatu and also the training offered by APTC in Vanuatu have paid off. Because of the good customer reviews on Bule, his supervisor transferred him to Plantation Restaurant on Deck 14 to work as an Assistant Buffet Steward.

Bule is currently on a 2 months leave after his eight month stint on board Pacific Jewel but with his good performances and also equipped with the training received at APTC, Bule is likely to go a long way because if his performance continues to improve he could be promoted to a Bar Steward or Junior Waiter or other positions.

Bule only had positive comments to say when asked about the training received at APTC and what he thought of the Certificate III and Certificate IV courses had had undertaken. Smiling with confidence he replied: "What I learned with Marc (Hospitality Trainer) at APTC Vanuatu has been very useful and I was able to put into practice straight away what I had learned. It also gave me confidence and boosted my self-image as Ni Vanuatu working on the Cruise Ship because I am also an ambassador to my country. The training at APTC has also empowered me as I now have an opportunity to advance in any job I decide to do later."

Bule's long term goal is to be a General Manager in future and also train others in the hospitality industry. He also hopes to own his own restaurant or hotel in future and become his own boss. The APTC is a centre of training excellence and is an Australian government funded initiative helping Pacific Islanders to gain skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers throughout the Pacific - careers where skilled employees are in high demand.

In Vanuatu the APTC offers Australian Certificate III training through the School of Hospitality and Community Services, in areas of tourism, hospitality, youth work, community services work, and children's services. Vanuatu citizens may also study in the School of Trades and Technology in Fiji, Samoa or PNG in areas of automotive, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, painting and decorating, wall and floor tiling, diesel fitting and mechanical engineering. To find out more or to apply to APTC visit the website or call into the APTC office located on the site of our training partner the Vanuatu Institute of Technology.

APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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