3.6 Discussion/ Analysis
The Discussion/ Analysis takes the form of comparing and contrasting the various courses by way of the four following elements:
Different Colleges have different priorities and ideas of education and training provision. This is in keeping with Gob (1999) Chapter 1, p8 who suggested that Hospitality professionals are agreed on the theoretical aspects of management training. There will always be differences of opinion as to the practical application of the theory. Armstrong (1999) Chapter 1, p12 recognises the difficulty of personnel transferring from education training to real job situations. This is true even when courses are well tailored to industry needs and highlights the importance of Hospitality students choosing the most suitable course to meet their career ambitions.
3.7 Selected HND/ Equivalent Courses (Tables PP26-28)
3.7.1 Duration & Placement
In relation to the three selected HND/ Equivalent courses, Sheffield offer 2 HND courses and Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, France offer a HND Equivalent. The 2 courses at Sheffield were of the same duration, with an option on each course to take it as a 3 years sandwich or 2 years full time. Ecole Hoteliere offer a 2-year course as the 3rd semester is spent as an intern, which the college states, takes place in 2nd year.
The 2 courses on offer in Sheffield are HND in Hospitality Management and Tourism and Hotel and Catering and Institutional Management. These courses are similar, with only 2 subjects within each programme differing. The HND S offered by Sheffield, differ to Ecole Hoteliere, as the latter seems to specialise in Hotel operations.
Sheffield however offer subjects that incorporate general areas that relate to Hospitality Management, while at the same time allowing specialisation in each of the 2 courses offered. E.g. Nutrition & Health Studies in HND Hotel & Catering and Institutional Management and Tourism Principles in HND Hospitality Management & Tourism.
Sheffields options were exactly the same between the 2 HND courses. Ecole Hoteliere did not state whether the course offered optional units.
Research suggests that there are some differences in the duration of the degree courses. Both Sheffield and the University of Ulster Jordanstown (UUJ) offer either a four-year sandwich or three years full time for their respective courses. Both Boston and Shannon College offer four-year courses for their degree programmes with work experience incorporated throughout the programmes. Strathclyde (Scotland), Cornell University (USA), Ecole Hoteliere (France) and the Swiss school of Hotel and Tourism management (SSHTM) were all different. Firstly Strathclyde offer two courses one of three years duration, the BA degree and a four year BA (Honours) degree with no placement experience allocated. Secondly Ecole Hoteliere and Cornell University did not specify the duration of their respective courses; Ecole Hoteliere do, however, state that the course run for seven semesters, six on campus and the fourth semester on an internship. Finally the duration of the SSHTM was three and a half years and split in to five semesters including practical experience and two paid internships of six months each. They do not however specify the length of each semester.
Research from the eight universities suggests that the core areas within all degree courses on offer are, as follows:
One would not be surprised about this combination of core elements in an industry accounting for employment for over 2 million people and 10% of the GDP in the UK as stated by the BHA, Chapter 1, p5. Human Resources for example has been an important area of development in all sectors of industry in recent years and is of prime concern to the Hospitality Industry, Food & Beverage would be in the same category due to increased consumer awareness.
Strategic Management and Languages could have been included in the above list, with the exception of one university in each instance, which didnt offer either subject within their Hospitality courses. Other similarities highlighted by the research carried out include the following:
Perspective (E.g.Strathclyde BA (Honours) Hospitality management or Sheffield who offer a BSc in Hotel & Tourism Management).
The following subjects contribute to differences in course content between the 8 colleges.
3.8.3 Optional Units
The aim is to compare & contrast the option content of the courses selected from the 8 universities in as far as it is possible as only 4 out of 8 universities (Sheffield, Cornell, Boston, UUJ) have however used a format, which states both the core and optional units. Between these 4 universities the optional units total 183 subjects. To put this in perspective 115 optional subjects are offered by Cornell University. It would appear the other 3 universities might have grouped the subjects more broadly. The main optional subject areas are as follows:
Placements are offered in 7 out of 8 colleges, Strathclyde being the exception. Even though the majority of the colleges offered placements, there are a number of differences in structure. Firstly both Boston and Cornell universities require students to gain (800 hours) practical experience. Boston incorporate one period each in years two and three while Cornell students have to gain experience during the classroom break i.e. starting in May and finishing in August. Both Sheffield and UUJ offer one-year placements. UUJ incorporated this in to year three of their degree programme.
Shannon College also included a one-year placement in year two, but unlike the two previous colleges students in year three have to complete a three-month assignment in an Irish Hotel additional to the one-year placement. Students from Shannon college who progress on to year four have to spend the summer on placement covering areas which had been omitted from the students practical training to date. In June of that same year, students have to complete their placement programme for one year. This colleges degree programme is therefore orientated towards the practical side of the Hospitality industry.
The SSHTM differ again from all the colleges beforehand as they incorporate 2 paid internships of 6 months each. Finally the Ecole Hoteliere is unique, as one-year practical experience is required before students can be considered for the course. Out of the 8 selected colleges researched it is clear for the exception of one college that practical experience is seen as vitally important in developing students. This would be in keeping with Go et al (1996) chapter 1, p12 who suggested that as well as allowing students to learn practical skills it allows them to broaden their horizons as they are exposed to peers from different organisations.
3.9 The Hilton Group & Gleneagles Hotel,
Discussion/ Analysis (Tables pp48-53)
Analysis of College Hospitality management courses is a more complex process than comparison of the In House training for the Hilton Group and The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. It is fairly clear from looking at the In House training programmes that by the hotels that they would be meeting the aims and objectives as listed by Armstrong (1999) Chapter 1, p2. These two hotels are also adopting a positive training philosophy as described by Armstrong (1999) Chapter 1, p3.
3.9.1 Similarities between the Hotels
The main similarities between the Hilton and the Gleneagles were the Spirit of Hilton and the multi-skills training offered by the Hilton and the induction programme and Certificates of Excellence training offered by the Gleneagles. Both courses offered by each hotel dealt with the issue of staff training in order to gain competency in the job that they were employed to do. (E.G Staff in the Restaurant at both hotels should know the content of the menu and how each dish is prepared and cooked.). In addition staff in both Hotels were given the same amount of time (three months) to achieve the required level of competency. Once this has been achieved staff from both Hotels have the opportunity to train in all departments thereby achieving competence within each department. Overall both Hotels hope this will help improve service quality throughout their properties. The final similarity between the two establishments, are that they both offer similar courses i.e. NVQs (TBS) with the only difference that the Gleneagles Qualification is called Scottish Vocational Qualification/ Tailored Awards. This is in line with alternatives listed by Go et al (1996) Chapter 1,p12.
3.9.2 Differences between the Hotels
One of the most significant differences between the 2 establishments is that the Gleneagles offer a Management programme which covers all areas of the resort and develops management skills throughout the training process. Staff within the Gleneagles also have the opportunity to participate in what is called Scotlands Best which recognises staff as being an important part of the service industry and why it is important to businesses, customers and the community that staff give their best effort.
The Hilton group differs to the Gleneagles as it offers a number of specific courses for staff who hold management and supervisory positions. (E.G. Supervision in Action is a 16-week course, which includes 10 modules with a related project for each module). The course is designed to train managers and supervisors to deal with different situations that are likely to arise in the Hotel environment. Other courses offered at the Hilton are as follows:
In spite of differences in training programmes both hotels realise that financial commitments are made and one would assume that these commitments for their management staff at last,
"Are made in the hope of producing capable managers that can deal with new and uncertain challenges"
(Tracey & Tews, 1995) (Cited by Gob 1999, p1)
Refer to Chapter 1, p7
The literature review clearly indicates a broad level of agreement between experts on what is required in modern management training in the Hospitality Industry. Evidence suggests that Hospitality businesses are prepared to invest in training initiative.
The sample of colleges and courses selected would indicate a well-focused provision of management education and training with considerable choice for prospective students. There is, however, considerable variation in approach and emphasis.
In House Training will continue to be an important element in the delivery of management training in the Hospitality Industry and there is considerable scope for collaboration with academic institutions.