Tourism boom prompts new tertiary qualifications in South Canterbury
South Canterbury's tertiary provider will offer a raft of new qualifications to meet growing demand in the tourism sector.
Ara Institute of Canterbury staff are planning to add new tourism and hospitality courses across its Timaru, Christchurch, and Oamaru campuses during the next 12 months.
They include a degree-level course based in Christchurch, which, once established, may offer papers in Timaru.
The move follows strong and sustained growth in the tourism sector, with predictions showing a significant number of employees across a range of sectors will be required to meet growing demand.
Projections suggest 36,000 extra full-time equivalent workers could be required to service the sector by 2025, according to the Tourism In 2025 project.
The project was framed around a goal of growing tourism into a $41 billion a year industry by 2025.
It found that accommodation managers would be in the most demand, with an extra 8252 staff required by 2025. They were followed by chefs, with an extra 6213 needed, and waiters, with 4923 more staff required.
Ara head of department for hospitality and service industries Karen Te Puke was "definitely" expecting New Zealand's tourism boom to have an impact on the polytechnic.
That demand was already being felt in its chef courses, with an extra 100 equivalent full time students (EFTS) joining the courses during the past 12 months.
Much of that growth was in Christchurch, but the Timaru based courses also had strong numbers, Te Puke said.
Ara also offered a Certificate in Tourism level 3 and a Certificate in Travel level 4. In 2016, there were 24 people enrolled.
The maximum capacity was 26, Te Puke said.
A new cafe and tourism course was planned for Oamaru, and a level 4 chef training course was bound for Timaru.
A higher level qualification was also being looked at.
Ara was awaiting approval from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to offer a Bachelor of International Tourism and Hotel Management.
If approved, the course would be based in Christchurch. However, once established, individual papers could be offered in Timaru, Te Puke said.
New short courses in the Waitaki and Mackenzie districts were also a possibility, she said.
"We would be keen to develop short courses for the wider district if there is 10 or more participants."