The hospitality industry has traditionally been a workplace with high staff turnover. Being seasonal and involving shift work, hospitality jobs are popular with students and travellers. As far as hospitality industry training is concerned, the key, often, is to have system in place that requires minimum training of transient staff. But that only puts more weight and responsibility on your permanent staff, and the need to train and retain them is even more important.The hospitality industry in Australia is one of the leading employers in the country. There is a wide array of training facilities and opportunities, and training and qualifications are regulated by government, and must adhere to guidelines at national and state level.Why should you invest time and money in hospitality industry training for your staff?Encouraging your staff to upgrade their skills means you will have better-qualified and better-informed staff. The direct result – better service to your customers. The indirect result – staff who know that you value their skills and care about promoting their career, meaning you will have more chances of retaining them for the long run.Training your staff involves time and money, and making the right choice can have significant outcomes on the success of your business. Insisting on hiring staff that are properly trained may mean that you will be looking harder and longer for the right person. But remember, your staff are your ambassadors, and you need to have the best trained people, so they will give your guests and customers the best service you can provide.The hospitality industry, more than most workplaces, offers a range of diversification and career development choices for employees. Encourage your staff to take advantage of that – to stay up-to-date with their training, and upgrade their qualifications by taking courses during the off-peak season.Many sectors in the industry, and the food & beverage in particular, offer short courses that give employees the opportunity to gain qualifications that will give them more flexibility in their job. Either higher qualification in their existing expertise, or diversifying into other related fields. It also means more flexibility to you, the employer, in rostering staff and filling in for absent workers. Many training schools offer night or online courses that can be combined with the work schedule. Even if it means a few hours of training at the expense of work, it will pay on the long run to have staff that are well-qualified and know that you value their skills.When dealing with training institutions, always choose a recognised training organization (RTO). This way you know that their qualifications are recognized, and they are regularly audited and are accountable to government authorities.If you regularly have to hire newly-trained staff, find an RTO that you know turns out quality graduates; a training facility that is in touch with their customers – the employers in the hospitality industry – and listens to their needs. Find a tertiary institution that spends time not only teaching students the technical skills and knowledge base to do their job correctly, but also places key emphasis on teaching them the ‘people skills’ that are just as essential in the industry. ‘Service with a smile’ is nowhere more important than in the hospitality industry. Look for RTOs that produce graduates that know how vital that saying is in their job.You can indirectly monitor the quality of staff training by getting to know the organizations that train workers in your sector. You will soon discover, through their hospitality industry training programs, which organizations teach the skills that you would like to find in your workers. Not only practical skills and general industry knowledge, but also human interaction and problem-solving skills, besides training on the importance of accountability and trust. Once you find an RTO that you can rely on to provide you with skilled and reliable workers, it pays to build a good two-way relationship. They provide you with well-trained staff, and you provide them with work opportunities for their graduates.Another aspect of hospitality industry training that many employers find beneficial is an apprenticeship program. Even though you are dealing initially with untrained people, by working with an agency that provides recruitment, training and apprenticeship services, you can reap the benefits of the apprenticeship program, which follows national guidelines for both employers and trainees. The agency will carefully select the apprentice, help manage the training and paperwork and oversee the qualifications process. There are financial incentives, partial funding and flexible plans, including part time and temporary placements. Trainees that are serious and keen to progress in the industry tend to stay loyal to employers who gave them their first opportunity to start their career. You will stand a better chance of retaining good, well trained staff.And lastly, an increasingly popular and cost-effective way of training and encouraging your staff to strive for higher performance is team building training. Team-building workshops and seminars are not only fun, they aim to develop leadership and social skills, teamwork, and positive interaction between staff. They improve communications in the workplace, and the overall motivation and performance of your staff. Your crew will emerge from these hospitality industry training seminars a more coherent and focused team, bringing fresh ideas back to the workplace and a positive outlook.