In this episode, we get to learn about Richard Finlayson, his business, and how he and his team are adjusting to Covid. Richard is the Managing Director of Quality Training and Hospitality College and Hospitality Jobs in Australia. They have campuses in Adelaide, South Australia, and Sydney, New South Wales. They deliver hospitality training and management, and cookery classes.

Richard shared the impacts of the pandemic to the business (his staff and students) and the industry. He also shared how the government's assistance (JobKeeper and JobTrainer) helped the business cope, and the strategies they put in place that allowed them to fast track their transition from face-to-face to online delivery for their students.

Richard also discussed how they plan to move forward, even with the pandemic, and to continue support for their students locally and internationally.

Episode Highlight:

  • Who is Richard and what does he do?
  • For 26 years, Richard has been in the hospitality industry. He is currently the managing director of Quality Training and Hospitality College
  • His team specialises in hospitality training and management, and cookery
  • What are the impacts of Covid-19 on the business?
  • What are his biggest challenges?
  • Richard says the pandemic is the biggest challenge the company and industry has faced. Student placements and student engagements are specifically the biggest challenges they face
  • Richard discussed how the JobKeeper program helped their staff and students 
  • The pandemic sped up the online platform Richard and his team started developing last year and was launched early May this year. This is an online learning platform for the students.
  • "We, like many colleges throughout Australia suspended some of the payments, came up with payment plans and discounts, and we just really tried to assist them [our students] as best we could."
  • What were the issues that came up with the online training?
  • Did Richard have any issues with the transition to online with their students?
  • "Doing the normal face-to-face and transferring that skill to online Zoom classes took a bit, but to be fair, the trainers transitioned incredibly well."
  • "I think when the world is better, getting them [the students] to come back to class on a daily basis is going to be a bit of a struggle."
  • What has been Richard's biggest achievement through this? What is he most proud of?
  • During their last audit, 98% of their students would recommend Richard's company to family and friends
  • Even with the lockdown and pandemic, Richard's placement team had managed to successfully process work placements for their 105 students 
  • "People in Sydney were more reluctant to attend the classes face to face, whereas in Adelaide the response has been about 40 to 50% that returned to the face-to-face classes." Richard said this may be due to geographical and public transport issues in Sydney.

Useful Links: 

Richard Finlayson on LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/hospitality-cookery-management-training
Quality Training & Hospitality College on LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/company/quality-training-and-hospitality-college

Quality Training & Hospitality College Website: https://www.qthc.edu.au/ 

Angela Connell on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelatkconnell

Angela Connell Website: https://vivacity.com.au/