The Wavecrest College of Hospitality recently (17 May) hosted a combined graduation ceremony for its 2011/12 to 2017/18 academic sessions, awarding certificates and diplomas to all deserving graduands.
In her address, College Provost Rosana Forsuelo told the graduating students, numbering more than 200, that they were entering a tough job market where, according to national statistics, only three million of 12 million graduates get employed yearly.
“You all have the necessary preparation – the technical, entrepreneurial and life skills — to set up in a digital world. These are your tools to find your niche,” she charged them, adding that the institution had confidence in their abilities to succeed, in Nigeria and elsewhere. “The College has given you the required skills to scale though the world. Nigeria is looking up to you as the driving force that will steer nations growth and development.”
Forsuelo, a social entrepreneur who has put in 35 years into the hospitality business, also thanked all industry partners and stakeholders who over the years had partnered with the College to achieve its objectives of empowering women since it was established in the 1970s.
“It is as a result of your support that we celebrate our student’s achievements today,” she said. “I also wish to thank the Lagos State government, Npower, the Elis Foundation, Swiss Government, the Women’s Board, our “think tank” Hospitality Advisory Committee guiding us to the present trends and needs of the industry to make our curriculum relevant.”
Deputy Provost Ifeoma Nwabachili told The Daily Report that the hospitality industry in Nigeria needs more well trained professionals to satisfy its needs.
“We are barely meeting 10% of the requirements,” she said moments after the graduation ceremony ended. “At the moment, we have the capacity to train three times more than we are currently. Unfortunately, hospitality is not the first choice of consideration for those who want to choose a career. It’s just now that people are realising that there is a huge potential in it.”
The College’s graduates, Nwabachili added, don’t have any difficulty getting absorbed into the existing hospitality establishments.
“Most of them already have placements. Most of them are already working. We don’t have enough to fill the demand, not at all. Our graduates have to choose where they work. Very rarely do you see the ones who don’t pick up a job, and that could be as a result of the welfare package or commuting complexities.”