Erdi, a privately-owned collection of premium hotels and businesses, has launched a hospitality education arm, Erdi Academy, to support budding industry talent.

Located at the Mercure Welcome Melbourne on Little Bourke Street and adjacent to sister-hotel, Pullman Melbourne City Centre, Erdi Academy operates within a working hotel environment, providing students with immersive experiences and practical learning on daily basis.

Founded by Eva and Les Erdi in the mid-1980s, Erdi has over four decades of experience in the hospitality industry.

“We are thrilled to introduce Erdi Academy, a testament to our enduring commitment to excellence and community empowerment,” said Erdi CEO and Executive Director, Ricky Jeffs.

“With Erdi Academy, we aim to redefine hospitality education, nurturing the next generation of industry leaders while giving back to our local community.”

Over one million dollars was invested in creating the learning facility from a pre-existing space within one of Erdi’s current working hotels, with state-of-the-art facilities now available and a customised learning experience offered to each student.

MBA Director at La Trobe University and RMIT University, Amalia di Loro AM, forms part of the Erdi Academy board, bringing extensive experience in higher education, while a faculty of industry experts with first-hand experience have been enlisted to ensure that students receive comprehensive training in hospitality management.

“At Erdi Academy, we are dedicated not only to producing highly skilled graduates but also to shaping the future of hospitality,” said Jeffs.

“Our vision is to empower individuals to thrive in the dynamic landscape of the hospitality industry, guided by our core values of passion, integrity and excellence.”

The flagship program at Erdi Academy is the Diploma of Hospitality Management, a nationally accredited qualification covering areas such as customer services strategies, conflict management and operational planning. The Diploma has been offered to current high performing employees from the four Erdi hotels, many of whom have accepted.

The Academy also offers short courses in Food Safety Supervisor Training, Food Handlers Training and Responsible Service of Alcohol training.

Currently open to domestic students, the academy is planning to secure CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students) approval within the year.