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Limerick Hospitality Education and Training Centre wins EFQM Centre of Excellence Award

EFQM Centre of Excellence Award – Pictured in the kitchens of the Hospitality and Training Centre are trainees, Mark O’Connor and Daniel O’Connor. Picture: Alan Place

The Hospitality Education and Training Centre (HETC) based at Limerick Enterprise Development Park (LEDP) has become the first centre in the Republic of Ireland to be awarded a EFQM Centre of Excellence Award.

Operated by the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) and supported with funding received from SOLAS and Limerick City and County Council, the centre is a partnership project involving the Department of Social Protection, Paul Partnership, Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership, LIT, Fáilte Ireland, Limerick College of Further Education and representatives from the Hospitality and Tourism sectors.

The HETC provides skills training in various sectors of the hospitality industry including Bar Skills, Hospitality Skills, Commis Chef Programme, Career Traineeship Programme and Level 5 Professional Cookery Course. 

Since the centre was opened in Autumn 2014, 210 full and part-time jobs have been created.  More than 100 of these jobs went to people from regeneration areas of Limerick city.

Bernadette Enright, Centre Manager of the Hospitality Education and Training Centre said: “Our centre is unique in that it delivers specific skills training directed at finding future employment in the hospitality industry.  We operate under the auspices of the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and are both QQI and City and Guilds certified.  The secret to our success is the collaboration between all the different partners.  We are very industry-focused and regularly liaise with the sector to see what skills are needed.”

The centre has become the first recipient of the EFQM Centre of Excellence Award in the 26 counties.

The award acknowledges HETC as a centre committed to the highest level of achievement, as it engages with its stakeholders – trainees, staff, industry and education partners as well as government agencies and the local authority.

The coveted EFQM award is granted to Europe’s best performing organisations, following an in-depth audit of an organisation’s business processes and procedures.  The Hospitality Education and Training Centre underwent a rigorous assessment to benchmark its performance against EFQM principles.  One of the factors highlighted in the assessment was the unique partnerships and collaborations that have been established with the industry employers.

Dr Tony Lenehan, Executive Director of EFQM Ireland said: “The EFQM Award to the Hospitality Education and Training Centre in Limerick recognises the professionalism of the Centre in fulfilling its remit but also provides a valuable benchmark for other Hospitality Training Centres around the country as they prepare individuals for valuable employment opportunities in hospitality sector in their region.  The benefits of accreditation are substantial as it provides an international symbol and benchmark of operational excellence for the Training Centre.”

“The Independent assessment of the HETC in Limerick by the EFQM, commented on the overall management and professionalism of the Centre, not only in the preparation of trainees for jobs and careers in Hospitality, but also the level of engagement with employers and industry stakeholders.”

George O’Callaghan, Chief Executive of Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board said: “The Hospitality Education and Training Centre is a real example of what can be achieved through the effective partnership between further education and training and industry partners.  The EFQM Centre of Excellence Award is an acknowledgement of this partnership and the real beneficiaries are those learners who have successfully progressed to employment or further training.”

Carmel Kirby, Director of Social Development with Limerick City and County Council said: “The Hospitality Education and Training Centre is a highly visible and very effective demonstration of the work that Limerick City and Council and others are doing for residents and communities in the four regeneration areas.    By creating jobs we are helping to build our suitable communities, one of the central tenets of the Limerick Regeneration Framework Implementation Plan.”

“The EFQM award an acknowledgement of the exceptional work that is being carried out at HETC and the standards that are there.”

Ivan Tuohy, General Manager at Shannon Heritage said “Shannon Heritage is very proud of our association with the LCETB.  We wish to acknowledge all the good work that the Hospitality Education and Training Centre is providing the wider tourism industry in terms of training and employee placements.  We look forward to further collaboration with the LCETB over the coming months and years.”

Elaina Fitzgerald, Chair of Shannon Region Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation said: “Our members have benefitted hugely from the Hospitality Education and Training Centre in Roxboro.  When you employ a quality recruitment process and quality training, the resultant quality graduates ensure service excellence in the Shannon Region’s hotels.  As a federation, we are proud to support the centre and look forward to developing the relationship between the region’s hotels and the centre further.  Congratulations to all involved. It is a great model that should be replicated throughout the country.

Further Information from Bernadette Enright, Hospitality Education and Training Centre 061 400660

For more information about the EFQM Centre of Excellence Award click here.

For more info on The Hospitality Education and Training Centre click here.

For more news on Limerick Hospitality from I Love Limerick click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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