Please describe the case in detail
In particular please consider (a)Objectives of the intervention; (b) Tools used to achieve the project goals; (c) Methodologies applied;
At the Higher Vocational College for Hospitality, Wellness and Tourism Bled practical education is in the focus of lecturers and all employees, particularly at the Inter-Entrepreneurial Education Center or college Hotel Astoria Bled. All students undergo the first, 80-hour part of their 800-hour internship in the premises of the college hotel or within the activity conducted by the hotel, while the remaining part of the practical training is done in companies all over Slovenia. More than 100 companies, hospitality and tourist companies and wellness centres are included into the network of companies. In total, our students are estimated to do about 100.000 hours of practical education in the region.
The college strives for a high quality practical education to be done in the college hotel Astoria. First part of practical education takes part entirely within the units of the college hotel for the students of both study programmes (Wellness and Hospitality & Tourism).
Students of Hospitality and Tourism do their practical education, during the academic year as project work, while the remaining hours of practical education is conducted within companies in the period after the lectures have been finished (April – September). Based on good experience, acquired in the Hospitality and Tourism Programme, the same principle has been introduced for the students of Wellness programme, who do the first part of practical education during the academic year as project work. The remaining part is done in companies and in our wellness centre, in accordance with the syllabus.
As a form of project work for students of both programmes in year 2 special events are organised within practical training, together with the local community and various organisations in the region. Students also gain the experience of conference tourism, planning and management as the college hotel offers conference facilities.
Every year in March a special one-day training is organised for mentors of practical education in companies, included into our network. In addition, education and teacher training for all employees at the Inter-Entrepreneurial Education Center is encouraged for mentorship to students.
The hotel is open to public and you can find it on as well on booking.com (where it is graded as fabulous 8.7) which also means that the majority of guests are foreigners which offers students direct contact to the multicultural and multilingual experience of their future job.
What resources are required for the case?
Consider human resources, financial resources, infrastructure, in-kind resources and any other type required.
Hotel and wellness/spa infrastructure, mentoring and teaching staff, 24/7 hotel staff, leadership.
What are the enabling factors making this case successful?
Consider institutional support, environmental/social/political factors, etc.
Well adapted hotel and wellness/spa infrastructure, well trained mentoring and teaching staff that is at the same time a perfect hotel staff always at disposal to their guests, experienced well trained leadership.
Why do you consider this case to be good/best practice?
Please consider that a best practice must (a) have a clearly defined objective to increase the connection with the World of Work, (b) address the target groups of the project, (c) be replicable and sustainable, (d) have clearly demonstrated evidence of effectiveness in increasing the connection with the World of Work
Hospitality, wellness and tourism are fields were an apprentice if not well trained might have long-lasting negative effects on the future business as customers expect their vacation and relaxation to be issueless, smooth and enjoyable. To gain that experience and self-confidence students have the opportunity to make their first steps into the real practical experience in a safe well-trained environment, where they learn by observing, doing under the watchful eye of their mentors and teachers being aware that whatever unpredictable situation they find themselves in the mentors are there to help if needed. Thorough analysis of the experience is done by apprentice, fellow apprentices and the mentor. This gives it an additional added value. After such a preparatory phase of apprenticeship even in such delicate fields as hospitality, wellness and tourism students are well prepared to go out into restaurants, hotels, spas … and their mentors there confident that their performance will not negatively affect their business.