Sudima Hotel has announced its Ngati Whakaue Scholarship recipient and Corporate Traineeship Programme candidates for 2018.
The 2018 scholarship recipient is Evan Brown, 17, who will move from Gisborne back to his hometown of Rotorua for the opportunity.
The Ngati Whakaue Scholarship has given passionate young Maori students a hand up to the industry since 2014. The scholarship was established to encourage locals into leadership roles within the hotel industry in and around Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty.
It offers formal qualifications through the successful candidate's chosen New Zealand-based tertiary institution as well as a paid 12-month placement with Sudima Lake Rotorua.
Brown said he had always wanted to work in the tourism industry.
"I've always loved the atmosphere of hotels, and I love looking after people. A hotel is a big hub of different people from all over the world, and I'm so excited to share my heritage and culture with them, whilst learning about theirs, too.
Sudima Rotorua Hotel manager Atalo de la Rocha, (left), Evan Brown, and Sudima HR director Phillipa Gimmillaro. Photo/Supplied
"This scholarship is really important to me because my dream is to run my own hotel one day, and it's the first step in making that happen."
Brown will take part in a year's placement at Sudima Lake Rotorua before moving on to study a NZ Diploma in Hospitality Management, funded by the scholarship.
As well as attracting new talent to the industry, Sudima had developed the Corporate Traineeship Programme, which offered existing staff members the opportunity to fast-track their careers.
One of those candidates is Leah Marie Cooper, a guest service agent at Sudima Lake Rotorua.
Cooper, who has been commended by Sudima management for her great work ethic and confidence, had a 10-year plan to work her way up from reception to general manager, and being a part of the traineeship programme would help her achieve this goal.
"My goal is to become a manager, and I'm so thrilled to be selected for the traineeship programme, because I believe this will help me immensely."
The programme will give candidates a thorough insight into other facets of the industry, growing their skillset by allowing them to work across several roles within their hotel.
It will also involve transfers to other Sudima hotels throughout the country for a month at a time so they can be immersed in a variety of environments and teams.
Sudima Hotels & Resorts director of human resources and a co-panel member in the judging of applicants, Phillipa Gimmillaro, said each candidate stood out for their clear passion for people, and their dedication to creating a fantastic experience for guests.
"This is first and foremost for us at Sudima, and HR programmes such as the Ngati Whakaue Scholarship and Corporate Traineeship Programme are vital in attracting and developing talented staff to be the champions of our fast-growing industry."