Nurturing Excellence in Hospitality with William Angliss Institute

A conversation with Sandi Homer, Acting Director of Education at William Angliss Institute

Pictured above: Sandi poses outside the newly launched Tram Cafe at the William Angliss Institute campus

In the bustling world of hospitality, education plays a pivotal role in shaping the professionals of tomorrow. I sat down with Sandi Homer, the Acting Director of Education at William Angliss Institute, to delve into the institute’s unique approach to skill development and how it propels individuals towards success in their hospitality careers.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships: A Gateway to Career Acceleration
When asked about how courses dedicated to apprenticeships and traineeships contributed to a candidate’s overall skill development in the hospitality industry, Sandi highlighted the many benefits of learning in a real-world environment for those who couldn’t make it to the classroom. Using a combination of practical work placements and formal study, William Angliss Institute promises to offer students a head-start in their chosen careers. “With approximately 600 apprentices/trainees per year, the courses are tailored to enhancing graduate outcomes and career opportunities with a combination of core and elective units that meet industry needs,” she said.

Moreover, Sandi pointed out the unique flexibility in scheduling, with students having the power to determine their training frequency, ranging from weekly sessions to monthly engagements. This bespoke approach ensures that learners can seamlessly integrate education with real-world experience.

Success Stories that Speak Volumes
The Institute prides itself on its impressive track record of success stories. Sandi shared that 99.9% of graduates from the Angliss International Hotel School Diploma of Hospitality Management find employment directly after completing their studies. Graduates often secure prominent roles such as Duty Manager, Restaurant Manager, Operations Manager, and Guest Relations Manager in prestigious hotels. This Diploma is currently available as a free TAFE course. She also highlighted opportunities for students to engage in major events like the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the Melbourne Grand Prix as part of their course, providing invaluable practical experience.

One such alumni, Courtney Fleming, who completed the Certificate III in Cake and Pastry, and started her own business, said “Studying bakery at Angliss meant I could then start ‘Cakes by Courtney’ and live out my dream of doing what I love.” Another alumnus, Bec Gamble who completed Certificate III in Meat Processing – Small Goods Manufacture said, “I’ve lived in a small country town all my life, working in administration and finance for nearly 20 years. Then at some stage in the last four years, I became interested in charcuterie & meat. Generally speaking, when you pursue a butchery apprenticeship, you don’t get to choose where you study. However, I’m glad Meatsmith chose Angliss as their training institute, the premier training facility in Melbourne.”

Mentorship by Design
In addressing the importance of effective mentoring, Sandi emphasised that the Institute specialises in hospitality, foods, tourism and events education. This enables them to channel all efforts into preparing students for excellence in each area, including customer service, communications and networking skills. Sandi pointed out unique learning environments such as the Rain Garden, situated in the centre of the Institute, a space filled with herbs, fruits, vegetables and indigenous plants, fostering hands-on learning.

The regenerative ‘Rain Garden’ at William Angliss Institute

Speaking of offering innovative experiences, Sandi excitedly said, “There’s a new food tour experience we are offering this year, which is fully catered for by our students from across our specialisations. The diners start at the new Tram Café for drinks and canapés, from there they move to the Rain Garden for other canapés made with freshly harvested ingredients. Then they continue to the Angliss Restaurant, where they are served a two-course meal, and finish off with a gelati dessert, made onsite at our Gelateria. As it is a training restaurant, our lunch and dinner prices are very economical for customers. Everything from our reservations to the MCing is all done by the students.”

All training outlets, including the Rain Garden, are open to the public, providing students with real-world exposure and opportunities to refine their skills.

The Power of Practicality: Internships and Industry Partnerships
Sandi shed light on the six-month internship program embedded in the Diploma of Hospitality. “Angliss takes responsibility for placing students in reputable hospitality venues, ensuring they gain firsthand experience aligned with their interests. This not only benefits students but also provides a pipeline of potential employees for partnering establishments,” said Sandi.

The Iconic Tram Café: Where History Meets Education

Pictured above: The iconic Tram Cafe at William Angliss

One of the Institute’s standout training outlets is the restored W-class Tram Café, a historic icon in Melbourne. Sandi explained how this unique venue, inspired by Melbourne’s vibrant pop-up festivals, serves as a real operation loved by locals and tourists alike. “Plans are underway to open the Tram Café to community groups, allowing students to participate in event management and themed projects, providing a genuine taste of working in the field,” said Sandi.

Lifelong Learning: The Key to Continued Success
It is evident that the Institute’s commitment to ongoing learning helps them offer a spectrum of customisable programs, from short courses to master’s degrees, catering to professionals seeking to upskill. Sandi believes in the industry’s zigzag nature and advocates for a broadening of skills rather than adhering to a linear career path. William Angliss Institute, proudly stands as a beacon for aspiring hospitality professionals, nurturing not just skills but a passion for excellence that extends beyond graduation.