Getting a head-start in hospitality

A unique partnership between Victoria University and RACV Club has been providing on-the-job training to hospitality students for over 35 years.

In anyone’s book 35 years is an extraordinary amount of time for a successful partnership between two organisations.

The long-running and highly successful RACV Club and Resorts Co-op program was developed between Victoria University and RACV Club to provide on-the-job training to Bachelor of Business students, majoring in hospitality. Students undertake two years of traditional university study and then in their third year, have the opportunity to apply to complete their final year as on-the-job training as part of the program.

This highly sought-after program enables one third-year tourism and hospitality student per year to work in a 12-month paid position at RACV Club, while they complete their academic studies as online modules.

With just one position available each year, competition is strong. Just like any other job application, students apply with a cover letter and their CV. They’re interviewed and shortlisted by RACV Club HR and managers and are chosen based on standard job criteria including skills, aptitude and best fit for the role.

Once hired, students work full-time on-site at the RACV Club’s head office and in its resorts around Victoria, getting a taste of what it’s like to work in the business first-hand.

To get a true insight into all facets of hospitality operations, students are rotated through each department and site every two to four weeks. Students work in membership, front office, concierge, housekeeping, food and beverage, fitness centre, conference sales and events, member relations, human resources and in the organisation’s resorts around Victoria. They gain first-hand experience dealing with clients and managing the day-to-day operations of a large hospitality business.

Students can apply this invaluable, hands-on training to their academic achievements and in their future careers.

“The RACV Club co-op placement has exposed me to experiences I would otherwise never have had. This has given me crucial personal and professional knowledge which I didn’t realise I needed, but will use for the rest of my professional life.”  - Austin Crawley

The program works for the mutual benefit of both students and the RACV Club, which gains highly-trained potential staff who can work in any scenario across the business. The results speak for themselves too because students are usually offered a permanent full-time position at the end of the 12 months and most are still there, five years later.

The close relationship between the two organisations is fostered by regular visits, RACV Club staff presentations to classes and VU-organised expos. Recently, RACV Clubs & Resorts sponsored the annual Victoria University Business School Student Awards, providing the Hospitality Student of the Year with a generous prize.

"We've been providing on-the-job training to VU hospitality and tourism students for 35 years now and have been very impressed by the qualities and skills that the students possess. VU's focus on industry experience and its placement programs are vital to producing our future hospitality leaders." - Trang Spielvogel, HR Manager, RACV Club

Victoria University is renowned for our strong industry partnerships and the work integrated learning opportunities available to students, which they may not get at other universities.

The long-standing tenure of the partnership with RACV Clubs & Resorts is an example of the success and mutual benefit that can come from such a relationship.

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