How CIT's Department of Tourism & Hospitality is responding to Industry needs

How the Department of Tourism & Hospitality at Cork Institute of Technology is responding to Industry needs.

By: Donagh Davern FIHI, Lecturer, Dept. Tourism & Hospitality, CIT
The hospitality industry is a dynamic one with many changes taking place each year.  Just look at the changes in technology which have taken place over the last number of years which make hotels, restaurants and bar’s more efficient and allow 24 hour access to bookings via websites and apps.
Here at the Department of Tourism & Hospitality, CIT, we are mindful of these changes and the demands of industry.  We engage regularly with industry through forums such as programmatic review, where industry practitioners are brought in to give guidance and advice on the courses which we offer, and through our engagement with bodies such as the Irish Hotels Federation, Restaurants Association of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and the Cork Convention Bureau.  We also offer our industry colleagues the opportunity to engage with our students through our annual Careers Day, our Roadshows and by utilising guest lecturers from industry to present to and share knowledge with our students.
As this semester kicks off, we are delighted to offer a 13 week part-time evening programme for those who have just reached, or aspire to, supervisory or management positions.  In the beverage area we offer part-time evening courses in Professional Bar Operations and Mixology and Cocktails, while in the culinary area we offer evening courses in both Bakery and Pastry, along with a new Food Photography & Styling course.
In response to industry needs in the culinary area and the shortage of qualified chefs, we offer part-time programmes such as the BA in Culinary Arts, the Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery and the National Traineeship in Professional Cookery, which allow students to gain a qualification in as little as 12 months, while still working in industry.
This year we have installed a new property management system in our Training Labs in order to train students in the most up to date hotel software.  Already being used by our industry colleagues in properties such as Hayfield Manor, the Maryborough Hotel, the Celtic Ross, Soho, Garryvoe, the Imperial Hotel and the soon to re-open Adare Manor, our experienced lecturing team have received training over the last few weeks from both Hotsoft and Volante in their state of the art rooms and food and beverage systems, so that students can have the relevant knowledge and experience which industry require for student placements and graduates.  
Next week our students will begin to use I-pads to take orders in the Training Restaurant, so that they are experienced in the most up-to-date procedures of a modern day restaurant operation.  Our full time Bar programme has been adapted to meet emerging needs in the industry and is now titled Beverage Industry Management, incorporating modules in both Brewing and Distilling, leading to a separate certification from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.  
A Certificate in Retail Food Operations has been developed in cooperation with our colleagues in retail operations who now offer enhanced food offerings through their retail outlets and this is up and running for the new term.  CIT also now offers a Master of Business programme with a specific Tourism stream, which is offered on a part-time basis, to suit the needs of those wanting to develop and enhance their skills.
We look forward to the academic year ahead and to training and developing more students for the hospitality industry, while working with our industry colleagues to better prepare students for what lies ahead in industry.  For further information on the courses mentioned, log onto www.cit.ie/th

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