Sudima Rotorua Hotel manager Atalo de la Rocha, (left), Evan Brown, and Sudima HR director Phillipa Gimmillaro.

Exemplifying its dedication to fostering New Zealand’s tourism industry, Sudima Hotels and Resorts has implemented a variety of programmes to nurture and grow staff talent. This month, the hotel chain’s 2018 Ngati Whakaue Scholarship recipient and Corporate Traineeship Programme candidates have been announced, giving several promising young Kiwis the opportunity to fast track their careers.

The Ngati Whakaue Scholarship has been giving passionate young Māori students a hand up to the industry since 2014. The scholarship was established to encourage locals into leadership roles within the hotel industry in and around Rotorua & Bay of Plenty. It offers formal qualifications through the successful candidate’s chosen New Zealand-based tertiary institution as well as a paid 12-month placement with Sudima Lake Rotorua.

The 2018 recipient for the scholarship is 17-year-old Evan Brown, who will be moving from Gisborne back to his hometown of Rotorua for the opportunity.

Evan says he’s always wanted to work in the tourism industry. “I’ve always loved the atmosphere of hotels, and I love looking after people. A hotel is a big hub of different people from all over the world, and I’m so excited to share my heritage and culture with them, whilst learning about theirs, too.

“This scholarship is really important to me because my dream is to run my own hotel one day, and it’s the first step in making that happen.”

Evan will take part in a year’s placement at Sudima Lake Rotorua, before moving on to study a NZ Diploma in Hospitality Management, funded by the scholarship.

As well as attracting new talent to the industry, Sudima has developed the Corporate Traineeship Programme, which offers existing staff members the opportunity to fast track their careers.

One of those candidates is Leah Marie Cooper, a Guest Service Agent at Sudima Lake Rotorua. Leah, who has been commended by Sudima management for her great work ethic and confidence, has a ten-year plan to work her way up from reception to General Manager, and being a part of the traineeship programme will help her achieve this goal.

“What I love most about working in hotels is seeing the joy people experience when they stay with us. We strive to treat our guests like family at Sudima, and I truly think we do. My goal is to become a manager, and I’m so thrilled to be selected for the traineeship programme, because I believe this will help me immensely”

Dorothy Carl Masters, Guest Service Agent at Sudima Auckland Airport is the second successful candidate for the programme, who won the judging panel over with her understanding of general business operations and financials, her positive attitude and determination

The programme will provide both candidates with a thorough insight into other facets of the industry, growing their skillset by allowing them to work flexibly across numerous roles within their hotel. It will also involve transfers to other Sudima hotels throughout the country for a month at a time, so that they can be immersed in a variety of environments and staff teams.

Sudima Hotels & Resorts Director of Human Resources and a co-panel member in the judging of applicants, Phillipa Gimmillaro says, “Each of these candidates stood out to us for their clear passion for people, and their dedication to creating a fantastic experience for our guests. This is first and foremost for us at Sudima, and HR programmes such as the Ngati Whakaue Scholarship and Corporate Traineeship Programme are vital in both attracting and developing talented staff to be the champions of our fast-growing industry.”

Credit to its dedication to supporting up and coming young talent into the industry, Sudima Hotels & Resorts is also a Youth Employer Pledge partner of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). Sudima Auckland Airport was recently highly commended in the Auckland Youth Employer of the Year category of the ATEED Young at Heart Awards, and was a nominee in the Local Youth Employer category.

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