16 Aug New Canadian Tourism College and Sterling College expansion
Vancouver, Aug. 16th. Source: Georgia Straight
Career-training entrepreneur Feroz Ali says he’s only lived in Canada for 20 months, but the former New Zealand resident already owns three private postsecondary schools, including the 36-year-old Canadian Tourism College. CTC, as it’s also called, has a new 11,500-square-foot campus opening next month at 1111 Melville Street in downtown Vancouver.It will triple the capacity of the existing Hornby Street campus, which is being relocated there, and will be part of a career school that also has campuses in Surrey and Victoria.“We are taking Canadian Tourism College through its new growth phase,” Ali told the Straight by phone. The new Melville Street campus will also be home to Sterling College, formerly known as Stewart College, which will offer postgraduate certificates in nursing. This will provide foreign-trained nurses with more education so that they can apply to be licensed to work in this country.Ali noted that there are forecasts of looming nursing shortages as the baby-boom generation moves into retirement.
“We have a global strategy of recruiting really high-calibre nurses to practise nursing in Canada,” he said. “The whole point of me being in Canada now is bringing the international experience from New Zealand. Perhaps I can do things slightly differently here and challenge the norm.”Meanwhile, CTC offers face-to-face instruction to up to 250 students annually who are trained to work in hospitality, adventure tourism, and aviation (as flight attendants). The new campus will include a nursing lab, flight lab, and hospitality lab.
This reflects Ali’s view that students become job-ready when they are able to simulate the work environment.
“We don’t just want to teach people out of theory books and textbooks,” Ali said. “We want them to practise skills.”At the new campus, tourism students will learn how to work as a barista, deal with guests at a hotel front desk, and master the intricacies of housekeeping, table-setting, and fine dining.“The flight-attendant students will be able to practise using two different types of aircraft doors for exits and emergencies: an [Airbus] A320 door and a Boeing 737 door,” Ali said. “They’ll also have a full galley so they can learn how to prepare food.
He said that he also owns a company called Sterling Aviation, which supplies flight attendants to corporate jets across Canada. This offers the opportunity to not only educating students but also employing them after they graduate.
“We don’t train them to be flight attendants in economy class or business class or first class,” Ali emphasized. “We say that ‘You’re treating every passenger as a first-class passenger, and the service that you’re going to provide them with is always first-class, irrespective of which cabin they’re sitting in.’ It’s about changing the attitude about how we create the next level of employees in the aviation sector.”
Asia Pacific Education Corporation also bought a majority interest in the New Westminster–based CG Masters School of 3D Animation & VFX. Ali described it as a “finishing school” for those with the skills to work in this industry who want to become more employable by learning about what companies expect and demand. That includes mastering personal communications skills necessary to work collaboratively in teams. He pointed out that CG Masters isn’t a school with a typical classroom. Rather, it’s a “studio”, which is what spurred his interest.“I plan on taking this school and making it much bigger in scale,” Ali said. “I want to take it global.”