An international hotel group has joined forces with the Ngati Whakaue Education Endowment Trust in a bid to produce young Maori leaders in the hospitality industry.
Sudima Lake Rotorua will be offering two young people of Ngati Whakaue descent positions as trainee managers.
The successful candidates will also be given a tertiary study grant by the iwi trust.
The scholarships were officially launched at the hotel in Eruera St on Friday.
Sudima Hotel director of operations Les Morgan said more needed to be done to encourage young Maori people into the industry.
"A couple of years ago it occurred to me that we didn't have enough young people in roles of leadership, especially Maori," Mr Morgan said.
"I had attended a conference and out of 400 delegates there were only a handful of Maori leaders.
"We would primarily want them to be front of house, but we would like to establish and foster their leadership skills.
"That's really what we're looking for, young leaders. I'm not sure if they're made or born but we would like to offer this opportunity."
The trust would provide a grant for three years for the students to pursue tertiary education in the hotel management field.
"Through that period we hope that the family would support them and we would offer them work back here in the school holidays or in Auckland Sudima if that is easier," Mr Morgan said.
"We would plan to stay in contact with them and their whanau and meet every three months to check on their progress.
"The opportunity in this job is unlimited not only for aspirations to lead hundreds and thousands of people but you have the potential to work anywhere in the world."
Trust chairman Malcolm Short said the land Sudima was on was Ngati Whakaue land that was being leased from the education endowment trust.
"We are delighted that the Sudima Hotel Group has worked with us to provide such a programme. This is a chance to go through the hospitality system, not just as a kitchen staff but an opportunity to work overseas with the Sudima chain."
Mr Short said the trust would be working with families to help them understand what was being offered and how they could support the young people.
Application packs are available from the trust at Pukeroa Oruawhata House in Amohau St or from human resources at Sudima Lake Rotorua.