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Monday 25 July 2016

Behind the scenes at the Qantas "training camp"

You are in Alexandria. Nowheresville. An industrial estate somewhere between Sydney Airport and the shabby fringes of downtown. 

From the outside, it is just another boring office or factory building. No signage. There's some security, sure, but nothing to prepare you for the magnitude of what greets you inside.

I recently got a sneak peek behind the scenes at the Qantas Centre of Service Excellence; the huge space where Qantas staff are trained. It's a pretty impressive set-up.

Just about any training scenario can be set up here: from first-class lounge dining to an economy short-haul cabin. 

The facility, not usually open to the public, cost $10 million to put together. It is used for inductions, teaching and development and corporate events. 

Australia's national flag carrier obviously takes training seriously. Employees can be taught in replicas of the first-class, business, premium economy and economy seating zones, even a QantasLink zone, which replicate those same spaces in the air.

In addition, there are dedicated sommelier, epicurean, and presentation areas for both internal and external courses. While I was visiting some members of the RAAF were being given insights into Qantas service standards. 

Safety and compliance training are undertaken here in facilities that include a 126-seat auditorium, an eight-metre central stage, four cabin crew training pods, along with internet and training rooms, kitchens and wine tasting facilities.

It's all pretty high-tech and well worth taking a look at should you ever get the chance.

# The writer was a guest of Qantas.   

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