Aitken Spence School of Hospitality in Ahungalla is scheduled to commence training for its fourth batch of students in August, 2008. The three preceding batches passing out, numbering 74 in total, is a success story in molding rural youth aspiring to make their mark in the international hospitality trade.
The school of hospitality was conceptualized as a corporate social responsibility initiative of Aitken Spence. The hospitality school which commenced its operations in 2007 conducted its inaugural session in Beruwela at the Neptune Hotel, prior to moving to its purpose- built premises in Ahungalla, which is built in partnership with Hilswerk of Austria through the Chamber of Commerce - Vienna.
At present the school’s curriculum involves training in basic food & beverage inclusive of theoretical as well as practical aspects. The lecture panel comprises of veteran Aitken Spence Hotels officials counting decades of industry experience as well as visiting lecturers from leading academic institutions. Three months of comprehensive theoretical training will be followed by a 9-month industrial training session in one of the Aitken Spence Hotels. During this time the students are provided with a monthly allowance and in successfully completing the session the students are offered permanent employment within the hotel chain. The students can look forward to a rewarding career in the hospitality trade in Sri Lanka as well as abroad in the rapidly growing network of Aitken Spence resorts oversees or through Aitken Spence Resources, which facilitates employment in the international hospitality industry.
The school plans to expand its curriculum into housekeeping, basic level reception and professional cookery. In addition, proposed infrastructure for a training kitchen, restaurant and more classrooms are planned for the near future.
The school also has in-house accommodation for up to 40 students. Recreational activities include a library, common room and playground for cricket and volleyball.
Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s leading player in tourism. Its inbound travel arm, a joint venture with TUI – the world’s largest tourism organisation- handles most number of tourists coming into the country. Aitken Spence is the leading resort operator in Sri Lanka and the fourth largest in the Maldives. In Oman it operates 4 leading hotels and resorts across the kingdom. The blue-chip has a rapidly growing presence in India’s hospitality sector with currently two properties under management with several more to follow in the near future.
Aitken Spence Resources is the overseas recruitment arm of Aitken Spence Hotels, with the objective of helping businesses and individual workers attain competitive advantage in achieving company and personal objectives in the hospitality industry. Aitken Spence Resources seeks to create substantial value to businesses through improved utilization of human capital.