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Le Cordon Bleu Australia's Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement is an integral part of the institution's programs, allowing students to gain real-life experience in the workforce. Discover the importance of WIL and why our students are industry-ready before they even graduate.
Latest research from Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has found that prospective international students consider employment prospects (64%), followed closely by an institution’s reputation (61%), to be the top factors influencing where they choose to study.
The UK company – which specialises in the analysis of higher education institutions around the world – asked students about the impact COVID-19 was having on where and how they wanted to study.
One of the key assessors they look for evidence of is work experience projects and internships built into programs.
Le Cordon Bleu Australia prides itself on ensuring students are career-ready before they even graduate, which is where its Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program comes in.
WIL works as a bridge between students’ on-campus studies and their dream career and provides key opportunities for professional and personal growth.
Students can take on a range of experience during their WIL placement, whether it be at a bustling inner-city hotel, secluded luxury resort, a globally-renowned restaurant or small, neighbourhood café.
Head of Industry Engagement and Alumni, Dr Cristina Rodrigues, says this is highly dependent on what the student desires as a career outcome.
WIL placement increases their knowledge, increases their employability and increases their capability to perform well in the workplace.
“What really differentiates WIL from other programs is that we personalise the placement which is where our Industry Engagement (IE) team steps in,” Dr Rodrigues says.
“The student will meet with someone from IE and discuss what they want to experience, if there’s a specific brand or restaurant they want on their CV, whether they want to work in a small business or they prefer to experience an international hotel brand.”
Dr Rodrigues, who is also a higher education lecturer at Le Cordon Bleu Australia, says WIL gives students an opportunity to apply everything they learn in the classroom to a work environment.
“WIL placement increases their knowledge, increases their employability and increases their capability to perform well in the workplace,” she says.
“We work closely with our industry partners to truly understand what the workplace requires and align that with the theoretical component of our programs.”
When a student undertakes a WIL placement, they are exposed to all aspects of a work environment, depending on the program they are enrolled in.
“For example, culinary students will get to experience all parts of the kitchen, while HE students working in a hotel will get to experience food and beverage, housekeeping, marketing and so forth…it’s really dependent on what the student wants to get out of their experience.”
Above: Some of the places Le Cordon Bleu Australia students can undertake their WIL placements. Clockwise from top left: InterContinental Hayman Island Resort, Whitsundays QLD; Vue de Monde Restaurant, Melbourne; Magill Estate Restaurant, Adelaide; The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Perth; and Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney. Pictures: Facebook
She says WIL is not limited to Australia, and a student can request to complete their placement overseas with the necessary visas in place.
“We have industry partners all over the world, from the US and Canada to England, France and Spain in Europe…this is something that’s very unique to Le Cordon Bleu,” Dr Rodrigues says.
“This is especially great for our international students who may want to go home when they finish their (theory) studies and undertake their WIL where they can build a network in their country.”
She says once a student completes their WIL placement, they have a higher chance of becoming employed.
“Hospitality is an incredibly vibrant industry and employers are crying out for staff,” she says.
“I am pleased to say that some of our students gain part-time or full-time employment after completing their WIL placement, especially if they demonstrate excellent work ethic and perform well with the tasks given.”
Le Cordon Bleu Australia boasts around 1,457 industry partners across the globe. Just some of the Australian locations students can undertake their WIL placements are Magill Estate Restaurant in South Australia, Crown Casino in Western Australia, Ayers Rock Resort in the Northern Territory, Shangri-La in New South Wales, Attica in Victoria and InterContinental Hayman Island Resort in Queensland.
Some of our students gain part-time or full-time employment after completing their WIL placement, especially if they demonstrate excellent work ethic and perform well with the tasks given.
Industry Partner IHG Hotels and Resorts has been taking Le Cordon Bleu students under their wing for several years.
Head of HR Japan Australasia & Pacific, Lynda Ugarte, says the global company became a Le Cordon Bleu industry partner to assist in creating a pipeline of talent and future leaders in the hospitality sector.
“We love being able to share first-hand how working at IHG can launch you into a career full of global possibilities,” Ms Ugarte says.
“With an emphasis on on-the-job training and a hands-on learning experience, students are able to bridge the gap in their experience and skills.
“This, combined with having access to world-class training and tailored development plans, means that students begin to discover that working in hospitality is far more than just a job…it’s the beginning of their next adventure, the start of discovering just what they are capable of and that the opportunities are endless.”
Learn more about Le Cordon Bleu Australia's Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program
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