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Thursday, March 11

10,000 stars wanted for Rugby World Cup 2011


A hospitality training programme focused on major events is being introduced to ensure New Zealand has enough trained staff to provide top service to all those enjoying Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) matches next year.

“We want to show that New Zealand can deliver great Rugby, great times and great hospitality to meet the high expectations of visitors and locals,” said Martin Snedden, CEO for Tournament Organiser, Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) at today’s launch of EventStarNZ©.

EventStarNZ© is New Zealand’s first specialist training programme to provide a certified training programme specific to the food service sector at major events.

It has been developed by the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI) and the RWC 2011 Hospitality Steering Group to prepare the industry for the Tournament and beyond.

Some 10,000 to 15,000 staff will be needed to serve the 1.7 million fans who are expected to attend 48 matches over 45 days in 13 stadia across New Zealand next year for RWC 2011 - the biggest hospitality event ever hosted here and one of the world’s top five sporting events.

“We were conscious that RWC 2011 would create an unprecedented demand for well trained service staff familiar with the requirements of a major event so we needed to respond to ensure the sector was match-fit by Tournament time,” said HSI CEO Steve Hanrahan.

“EventStarNZ© aims to make sure we have skilled food service staff delivering high standard hospitality during RWC 2011 and beyond that, to other large events hosted by New Zealand in the future.”

EventStarNZ© will provide a range of intensive training courses across six modules, from half day to two days and will incorporate KiaOraMai – the customer service training programme launched last year.

Participants will be trained in a range of venue areas including hospitality, kitchen, retail and bar. Courses will be delivered via workplaces, polytechnics and institutes of technology from May.

“It will mean graduates will be able to work with confidence and provide excellent service whether it’s for VIP boxes, pre-match dinners, corporate hospitality or retail areas,” said Steve Hanrahan.

EventStarNZ© is a tribute to the collective will of the industry to raise service standards. “It’s been a real team effort with key players in hospitality, education and stadia working together to find a way to lift standards and grow the pool of skilled workers.

“It’s always been difficult to recruit, train and importantly to retain workers and I believe now we have a solution that will make a lasting difference.”

The work was initiated by RNZ 2011. CEO Martin Snedden said EventStarNZ© was another key part of the massive effort needed to get New Zealand ready in 2011.

“The Tournament is a wonderful platform to showcase New Zealand to the world so it’s important we do all we can to be great hosts to the many visitors coming. I am sure EventstarNZ© will equip graduates with the right skills to provide top service and the best Kiwi hospitality.

“We need to get it right if we are to reap the tremendous economic benefits the Tournament will generate. “ RWC 2011 is expected to attract 60,000 overseas visitors and pump more than NZD $500 million into the New Zealand economy. The overall economic impact is estimated at NZD $1.15 billion.

Martin Snedden said EventStarNZ© would contribute to the valuable legacy of RWC 2011. “It will raise skill levels and provide a stepping stone to a rewarding career in the hospitality industry.

“It‘s also a great chance for people to have a starring role in this once in a lifetime Tournament.”

HSI said it expected that graduates of EventStarNZ© training would have a definite advantage when the recruitment drive for stadia hospitality teams gains momentum.

“It will give graduates a head start when applying for jobs at venues before that so we are hoping they come to RWC 2011 with some good experience which will help them provide a consistently high standard of service,” said Steve Hanrahan.