ServiceIQ has successfully taken its workplace education programmes to an exciting new customer and market overseas. In September, the ITO for New Zealand’s aviation, hospitality and other service sectors, awarded internationally recognised qualifications to its first graduates in the UAE.
The group of 12 trainees are all employed by Emirates Flight Catering in its giant commercial kitchen complex in Dubai. Over six months, the catering cooks have been able to develop their craft and knowledge on-job as part of a pilot project set up between ServiceIQ and the airline.
The graduates were awarded their ServiceIQ Certificate in Airline Catering (Culinary Level 2) qualification certificates at a very special presentation ceremony held in Dubai in September. It was attended by New Zealand’s Ambassador Jeremy Clarke-Watson, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) Consul General Kevin McKenna.
ServiceIQ CEO Dean Minchington says the pilot project has proved mutually beneficial for the two organisations. And its success has already green-lit a much larger programme of work by ServiceIQ for Emirates, which is one of the world’s top-rated airlines.
Currently, Emirates Flight Catering is selecting fifty more of its employees who will start ServiceIQ on-job qualification training in October this year.
Dean says: “Our training is specifically designed to meet high international standards. It worked seamlessly with Emirates’ demanding and fast-moving catering services operation.”
The airline has sought ServiceIQ’s help to increase workforce capability and to retain employees for the long-term by providing them with a satisfying career pathway.
By lifting its skill base, Emirates Flight Catering is also able to build a more mobile workforce that can move around the business to meet peak demand, says Dean.
“This initial pilot has been a great opportunity to trial our educational resources and expertise to an important new international territory. It’s proof of the high quality of training developed right here in New Zealand that also offers significant opportunities for our country’s planned expansion in export education. It’s an exciting beginning for ServiceIQ International.”
Emirates Flight Catering is a huge operation and a huge opportunity for ServiceIQ.
With four large commercial kitchens in Dubai, it is among the world’s largest producers of airline food for hungry economy, business and first-class passengers. It serves the Emirates fleet of aircraft as well as many other airlines, multiple airport guest lounges, and special events in Dubai.
The numbers tell the story. Emirates Flight Catering operation measures 20,022 sqm. It has a staff of over 10,000 from 56 countries, employs 1076 chefs, produces 333,000 meals per day in three main kitchens, and has the capacity to produce 122.5 million meals per year. There are 1,548 different menus on any given day. Most popular food items include: sausages (6.3 million per year), omelettes (7.3 million per year), broccoli (106,174kg per year) and tortillas (870,00 per year). The annual grocery list features 17 million croissants and 62 million bread rolls and a lot more.
ServiceIQ established an office in Dubai in 2016 with an initial focus on the region’s aviation industry.
Dean adds: “We’ve always wanted to set up to do ITO-like activity offshore. Our core offer is the way in which we connect skills and knowledge training with the workplace – the way evidence of skill is gathered in the workplace, the way it’s assessed, and the way we can integrate our international standards and programmes with a customer’s existing training.”
Export education is a major contributor to New Zealand’s economy. According to a 2016 report for Education New Zealand: “in 2014 international education exports, including offshore activities, were estimated to contribute $2.85 billion to GDP or 1.2% of total GDP and close to 6% of exports.”
Dean says along with significant revenue, the benefits of gaining access to the international markets are considerable.
“By forging international partnerships, we can leverage that capability offshore for the benefit of New Zealand Inc,” he says.