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Year 12 hospitality students displayed the skills they have learned over the last 2 years during their recent stay at a 5 star property in Cairns. A unique partnership between Malanda SHS, Pacific Palms and Blueprint Career Development was piloted over the weekend with great success. Participating students rotated around 4 resort departments including food and beverage, housekeeping, reception, golf operations, recreation and the kitchen. During their time off, the lucky students were able to experience the accommodation, dining options and facilities as a guest.

Paradise Palms General Manager Declan McCollum was impressed with the students work ethic and willingness to get involved in areas of the resort and tasks that were unfamiliar. "It’s great to see that senior school education can culminate in students achieving a Certificate II in Hospitality and showing this standard of industry relevant skill. We would certainly consider hiring school leavers if the Malanda students are any indication of the quality of work students can perform".

Students were equally delighted with the newly rejuvenated Paradise Palms. "Our rooms were beautiful and we were able to use all the facilities so we saw the property from the perspective of a staff member and as a guest. The food was awesome and the staff were very friendly and helpful. It was a great way to finish off our senior year".

Desley Shanahan, Senior Hospitality teacher from Malanda State High School, was buoyed by the experience. "We were hoping for a positive real-life work placement for our students, but this has exceeded any expectations. The students have worked hard, seen the realities of working in many sections of a luxury resort, and had fun while doing it. This has been some of the best preparations possible for being ready for post-secondary pathways in the industry."

The program and experience is offered to students studying hospitality with Blueprint Career Development in 2017.