It is said that the hospitality industry in Nigeria predominantly started off informally. There were not many formally trained, experience-based skilled workers, and this has plagued the pace of structural growth in the hospitality industry in Nigeria.
From the struggle with deciding what will be the acceptable Nigerian criteria for grading our hotels and hotel standards, to its general inability to be attractive to millennials (Generation X, Y, and even now Generation Z) as a career path compared to other industries. This then impacts the quality of the skilled workforce available for hospitality businesses and brands to work with when they arrive to invest in a huge and financially lucrative market like Nigeria.
Therefore, from an industry-leading perspective, it was with a great sigh of relief and excitement that we welcomed any collaborative effort as we were glad when we realised that somewhere, in Lagos, existed an institution called Wavecrest College of Hospitality, that was concerned about solving this issue as well as, the development of the girl child in Nigeria.
And so, in 1973, beginning with a 1-year program in Housekeeping for girls with their first school-leaving certificate in a modest house on Animashaun Street Surulere, later in 1978, became a Technical Centre for professional training of young women interested in developing their skills in a career in the field of Catering. By 1980, for the first-time students were presented for the City & Guilds London Examinations in Basic Cookery and Home Craft.
By 1987, Students were presented as external candidates for the WAEC Technical Examinations in Hotel and Catering.
By 1998, To upgrade the career of Hospitality Management, seeking to make a stronger contribution to raising the standards of the Hospitality sector in Nigeria, it was decided to apply for recognition to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) as Monotechnic offering courses that would lead to the National Diploma (ND).
By 1999 The Federal Ministry granted the approval to establish the Wavecrest College of Catering and Hospitality Management able to run ND programmes.
They kept on achieving till 2006 when NBTE again granted the approval to commence the Higher National Diploma (HND) Programme in Hotel and Catering Management after previously getting accreditation for its National Diploma programme.
In 2010, they received the 2010 Platinum award for the best hospitality educational institute in West Africa Tourism and Hospitality Awards (WATHA)
And in 2014, Wavecrest became the Approved International Center for the Institute of Hospitality (IHG), UK Management Qualifications and they have carried on.
And so, for more than 40 years, over 2,500 graduates have successfully benefitted from the all-around education received from the College. Their graduates are guaranteed a few interesting things that I would share at the end of this article.
The focus of the College is targeted towards capable young women interested in making a career in the Hospitality Industry. The students pay a subsidized tuition fee which covers only about 25% of the operation costs of the College.
The institution is currently running three different programs (GAP year/ Certificate program, National Diploma, and the Higher National Diploma), all of which have different categories of internship, or apprenticeship.
The impact of such an establishment (as about 23 tertiary institutions now in Nigeria offer Hospitality & Tourism Management) in the hotel industry can not be overemphasized. The sheer resourcefulness of skilled workforce, (both temporary and permanent skilled workers) for the advancement of the industry in readiness for the technological inundation of the hotel industry is exciting to be aware of and so, the Wheatbaker hotel, began as far back as 2012 to work on various collaborative efforts from concurrent periodical workers training, and booth camps, to internship offers, staffing offers, leading to a symbiotic relationship between the two organisations.
Now earlier, did I promise to tell you what graduates from Wavecrest College of Hospitality are guaranteed? Yes, their graduates are guaranteed quality Education, Employment, and Economic Independence.