Realistic airport lounge lets students learn 'on the job'

PHOTO: Realistic airport lounge lets students learn 'on the job'

It has the standard amenities of an airport lounge, such as a check-in counter, a baggage and security screening station, bar service, a table buffet spread, plush sofas and soft lighting.

But it is not located at Changi Airport - the lounge is housed at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West in Choa Chu Kang, serving as a training facility for the college's students in hospitality-related courses.

The lounge, which officially opened on Thursday, aims to give students "an authentic learning environment", said Mr Peh Wee Leng, director of the college's business and services school.

The lounge, which cost a five-figure sum to build, was set up with the support of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

Dr Yek Tiew Ming, the college's principal, said ITE was already planning to build the airport lounge in the college, shortly after it introduced a Higher Nitec course in passenger services two years ago.

The course equips students with the skills to work in the aviation and cruise industries. They are taught to perform check-in services, handle the arrival and departure of passengers, respond to queries and manage crowd control.

"We wanted a living classroom which will simulate the real work environment," said Dr Yek.

Students from the college's other hospitality- related courses, such as hospitality operations and leisure and travel operations, will also have the opportunity to attend lessons conducted at the airport lounge.

The college has developed a niche in providing hospitality training complemented by authentic industry settings within its premises.

Apart from the airport lounge, it has training facilities such as a student-run restaurant and a hotel.

Ms Jagthishini Chandra Segar, 17, a first-year passenger services student, said: "We don't usually get to see the premium lounges at airports because it is a very exclusive area.

"This facility lets me know what to expect in the working world."

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