Promoting Excellence

The Hospitality Training Trust was set up in 2011 to advance training in the hospitality sector in New Zealand. The Trust Deed outlines the aims and purposes of the Trust as advancing training, developing and promoting excellence, leadership, talent and knowledge and undertaking research for the hospitality sector. This year, the Trust gave out more than $130,000 to groups and education providers including Ara Institute, NZChefs, DINE Academy and Soul Bar & Bistro.

Sonia Tiatia founded DINE Academy in 2010 and since then has supported over 1000 young people into the first steps of employment preparation while they are still at secondary school and transitioning into part-time work, apprenticeships, tertiary and career options. DINE was the recipient of a $20,000 grant from the Hospitality Training Trust in 2018.

“Over the past few years, the Hospitality Training Trust has significantly helped DINE Academy to train, inspire and nurture hundreds of young people into their first hospitality jobs while they complete and transition from high school,” Tiatia explained. “We are a social enterprise and charitable trust and very grateful for their endorsement and support.”

This year, the grant was used to help fund the first Auckland DINE Showcase Dinner event at Eden Park, with previous events having been held in Wellington. Over 50 DINE trainees were mentored by the chefs, corporate team and DINE graduates to cook for and serve a five-course dinner for around 200 dinner guests that included parents, teachers, principals and DINE Network partners.

“The dinners also celebrate our industry and the latest team of DINE trainees who completed training and successfully transitioned into their first casual and part-time jobs at Eden Park, Mt Smart Stadium and Sky City Auckland,” Tiatia said. “Most of our trainees are senior students in high school or young job seekers volunteering to demonstrate their work ethic, team commitment and passion for pursuing opportunities in the service industry.”

The HTT grant also contributed towards the DINE Nurture Scholarships, which help fund young people aged 15-25yrs onto its pre-employment boot camps in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. The Nurture scholarships cover a range of needs from public transport costs and uniforms, to mentoring support and programme fees for any young person seeking support for training, to become work-ready and introduced to DINE Academy’s industry partners. Over the past eight years, DINE Academy’s one-week boot camp has resulted in 80 to 100 percent of the trainees being offered the opportunity of ongoing paid employment.

Gaynor Matthews manages the Pathways programme at MIT, and also received a grant from the HTT. The money was used to help students train for and to sit test for drivers’ licenses.

“With 70 percent of jobs requiring a licence and only 44 percent of all job seekers having a full or restricted licence, we saw this as a barrier to employment for our students. We manage a trades academy for secondary students within MIT and saw a gap in the market in assisting these young people to gain their licences. The AA also came on board with giving each student that passed their learners with us thee free lessons and a year’s free membership for those students who gain their full licence.

“The financial support has been great in helping us give driving lessons to the students and paying for their tests whether it be learners or restricted,” she said. “Without the financial support we would be unable to run the project.”