Seychelles Tourism Academy

Saturday Sep 23rd
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A little history about the Academy

Introduction
The opening of the international Airport in 1972 provided the initial impetus to upgrade the standard of service and facilities in the growing number of hotels and catering establishments that were built in the wake of this major development.

In 1976 many innovations took place, and the doors of the school were opened to the public so that the students might gain hands-on experience.  Thereafter, Seychellois were trained to teach succeeding generations of students.  The first group of students following the first programme undertook practical studies in the industry, while the Ministry of Education employed those who wished to work at the school, studying under French instructors.

By January 1978, the trainees were ready to embark on final training at the Ecole Hoteliere de Paris as fully-fledged instructors. By December 1979, they were back and ready to start teaching.

Despite the relatively limited facilities of those days, many of those students who studied at the school between 1976 and 1982 have gone on to pursue careers overseas, or have successful businesses here in Seychelles.


The Hotel Training College
Initiated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with the Seychelles Government, the first “Hotel Training College” opened it doors at the beginning of 1973, sponsored and equipped by the United Nation Development Fund (UNDF), under the direction of Mr. F. Haggie (ILO Chief Technical Advisor) and Mr. Labalette (ILO Kitchen Instructor).  This first hotel school was located on the present site of the Conservatoire of Music (School of Music) at Mont Fleuri.

The French Mission de Cooperation, with the agreement of the Seychelles Government, were responsible for the running of the school.  Due to lack of local expertise in this area, skilled French personnel from this same organization were brought in to run both day and evening classes.  The evening classes were for those in the tourism trade who wished to enhance their skills.

COURSES OFFERED
Courses included Kitchen/Pastry; Restaurant/Bar; Front Office; Housekeeping and Tourism Travel

All courses included Mathematics, English and French, while front office and tourism travel students were also able to take courses in basic German and Italian.

Basic training for kitchen/pastry and front office lasted for two years with one year for restaurant /bar and housekeeping.  The average class size at the time ranged anywhere between twelve and fifteen students.


Seychelles Polytechnic – Department of Hotel and Tourism
As demand for skilled personnel continue to grow in the ever expanding industry, it became increasingly obvious that the original premises at Mont Fleuri would no longer suffice. Therefore, a plan was submitted to the French Mission de Cooperation for a specially-designed Hotel School. After careful study and negotiation between both parties, the French Mission de Cooperation agreed to finance this project.

With the opening of the Seychelles Polytechnic in 1983, the Hotel School name changed again, this time to the Seychelles Polytechnic – Department Of Hotel And Tourism.  The entry criteria changed and only students from the National Youth Service were admitted.  Classes increased from fifteen students and all but two of the instructors were Seychellois.  The Housekeeping no longer formed part of the curriculum.  In 1985, the school moved to a new location in Bel Ombre.

COURSES OFFERED
The course structure was modified and offered the following:
A two-year certificate course in Accommodation and Tourism;
A two-year certificate course in Kitchen and Pastry;
A one-year certificate course in Restaurant and Bar.

A most significant exchange programme was organized between Seychelles and La Reunion, in 1990.
A new era commenced in 1991, when the school showcased a restaurant which the public and visitors were urged to patronize in order to increase students’ experience. The local trade were also encouraged to take on students during school holidays in order to provide them with practical experience.


Seychelles Hotel and Tourism Training Centre.
The year 1995 marked the most major change yet seen.  Despite the increasing sophistication of studies and practice, many in the industry felt that the school was still failing to provide the level of skills they required.

The school was handed over to the Ministry of Tourism and Transport and a Board of Governors were appointed to see the running of the school.  The name changed again to the Seychelles Hotel and Tourism Training Centre (SHTTC).

The mix of full-time and apprenticeship students meant that the SHTTC was coping with 250 students a year.  The curriculum was also extended to include evening classes.


Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Trainng College
In 1997 the school was moved to a new location at La Misere, the former American Tracking Station.  
and again changed its name to Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Training College (SHTTC).

COURSES OFFERED
The courses on offer were:
Food and Beverage Service
Food Production and Culinary Arts
Accommodation Operations and Services
Reception Operations and Services
International Tourism

Since the year 2001, the school has been using the City and Guilds International of London’s curriculum for all its courses.

Compared to the two previous premises, the La Misere campus is more spacious and has several rooms used as our Hotel D’Application to provide students with practice and exposure in their various fields of study.  The hotel is known as The Helvetia Hotel.

In 2007 the SHTTC was renamed as STA – Seychelles Tourism Academy and moved from the Ministry of Education to be managed by STB – the Seychelles Tourism Board.  It is overseen by a committee: a group of professionals from the hospitality industry nominated by the President of the Republic.


Conclusion
The Seychelles Tourism Academy takes its responsibility for ensuring the quality and reliability of its training programmes very seriously. As an Academy we have an obligation to plan  our courses of instruction carefully to respond to student needs. We constantly evaluate the effectiveness of each training programme in terms of the change it brings about in students and  make improvements in those programmes in order to be more responsive to employer demand. We also aspire to increasing the volume and range of provisions delivered to employers, hence addressing the needs of the labour market.
New plans are underway with the imminent construction of a new hi-tech, modern complex that will respond better to learner need and demand.
 

 

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