30th March 2021
Hon (Prof) G L Peiris, Minister of Education (left) and Mr Rolf Blaser, Managing Director/CEO of A Baur & Company Pvt Ltd (right) speaking at the event
The first batch of students at SHMA pictured with the Dean of Academy and the lecturers
The Swiss Hotel Management Academy (SHMA) launched VET by EHL, a Vocational Education Training programme by Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Switzerland on the 25th of March 2021 at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo. The event was graced by its chief guest Hon Minister of Education Prof G L Peiris and saw the participation of many industry professionals and dignitaries.
EHL is the world’s first and number one hospitality management school with over 25,000 alumni worldwide boasting a 96pct employment rate among recent graduates. Based on one of the best education models in the world - the Swiss Competency Framework, the VET by EHL programme is characterized by a strong learning outcomes approach and a competence-oriented structure of training.
SHMA is the first hospitality management institute in Sri Lanka to offer an apprenticeship model through the VET by EHL programmes, heralding a revolutionary change to the hospitality industry. Rolf Blaser, Managing Director/CEO at A Baur & Company Pvt Ltd, stated ‘We are proud to breakthrough traditional thinking and embrace more innovative and ground-breaking ways that will enable students to have the required practical experience and industry relations upon completion of their study. We are challenging the status quo together with VET by EHL and taking this bold initiative for the greater good of our hospitality sector and the country as a whole.’
All certificates and diplomas are signed and issued through VET by EHL and all trainers and lecturers at SHMA comprise renowned top industry professionals. Jens-Henning Peters, Head of VET by EHL said ‘The team at SHMA has tirelessly worked to reach to where we are today. We had the great pleasure to connect and work closely in workshops, trainings and visits with the team and we have full confidence in this collaboration.’
Aman Aditya Sachdev, Director and Regional Head- EHL Advisory Services said ‘We are very pleased to have partnered with A Baur & Company Pvt Ltd for the VET by EHL programmes under its SHMA umbrella. Sri Lanka is a key global tourism destination and despite the ongoing challenges I’m very convinced that Sri Lanka tourism will bounce back much sooner and stronger. This launch is a landmark initiative for the hospitality and tourism industry in Sri Lanka and we are excited to be a part of it.’
SHMA, one of Sri Lanka’s leading hospitality academy since 2012, is now licensed by EHL to deliver the VET programme in 4 distinct streams; Culinary Professional Diploma, Service Professional Diploma, Rooms Professional Diploma and Hotel Administration Diploma.
The programme is available as a 18-month full professional diploma and/or as three independent 6-month certificate modules and uses a balanced learning approach that blends real-world experience and applied management techniques with academic rigor for students to develop key operational skills for the industry as well as transferable skills for future professional growth and life-long learning.
The apprenticeship model is an inclusive curriculum with an intense weekly 2-day theoretical and practical learning followed by a comprehensive 4-day ‘on-the-job’ training at select-star classed hotels that will distinct SHMA graduates as trailblazers and gamechangers in the industry. This was successfully introduced through the VET by EHL Pilot Programme in February 2021 with a batch of 19 students who followed the apprenticeship model at SHMA Partner hotels; Cinnamon Grand, Cinnamon Lakeside, Taj Samudra, Galle Face Hotel and Shangri-La, Colombo while completing a 6-month Food and Beverage Intermediate Certificate under the VET by EHL programme. And a numerous prospective partner hotels have already signed up with SHMA.