Hospitality is an industry which continues to grow throughout Northland, and this is opening up a world of opportunities for students. Every year People Potential's Hospitality team plays an integral part in educating around 200 learners who are interested in the industry and the team has attracted many young people of Northland to a hospitality career.

Students are introduced to the industry through a short entry-level Hospitality course which covers barista, café services and food safety, and runs for 14 weeks with a lot of practical experience along the way. If you are looking at hospitality as a career choice, then you can continue on to the Hospitality Level 3 programme.

The Hospitality courses specialise in front-of-house training and students learn food safety and barista skills, with a focus on café services, quick service restaurants, bars and clubs, functions, and restaurant services. Students also gain their LCQ. In addition, there are options for people already employed in the industry to have their skills and experience recognised with a nationally-recognised qualification.

To ensure the Hospitality students at People Potential get the best and most extensive hospitality experience, the Peep's Café was established to provide work experience preparing and serving delicious kai to staff and students on campus.


As well as running the student cafeteria, the students are very hands-on working in the community, providing food and beverage service at various events in Whangarei. They work with the Cancer Society, Volunteers Whangarei, Rotary, Hundertwasser fundraisers, Business Awards and art exhibitions, to name a few.

Absolute Caterers provides work opportunities for enthusiastic learners to put their knowledge to work.

"We have employed several People Potential students both in the kitchen and the function rooms and their skill-set when they come to us is of a very high standard."

The Level 3 Food and Beverage students also assist with the Westpac Northland Business Awards each year.

"We really value our relationship with People Potential and see having the students as part of the awards night as a great opportunity to introduce the business community to the up-and-coming hospitality stars in Northland," says Kate Blundell from Collective Concepts.

Shona Pivac has been tutoring in the hospitality department at People Potential for 14 years and has over 40 years of experience in the industry. She has instilled her passion into the tutoring team which she now manages, all of whom keep their skills up-to-date by also working in the industry.

A new block of Hospitality classrooms was built in 2016 to accommodate the large numbers of students wanting to join the programmes and a recent expansion of the organisation to include campuses in Papakura and Hamilton has left People Potential excited to embrace yet another year making an educational difference!