Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is joining with eCornell training programme for the first time to launch e-learning courses for the company's management staff from 1 April 2005. Three thousand spaces will be offered over the next five years for online professional development in hospitality.

An eCornell certificate will be awarded to those completing any of the 57 online courses in five areas:human resources management; management essentials; hospitality and foodservice management; strategic management and financial management. A Cornell university certificate will be awarded to an individual after completion of a series of related courses.

"This e-learning programme will provide a platform for our employees to expand their knowledge base with a high degree of time flexibility," said Giovanni Angelini, chief executive officer and managing director. "Such a commitment to staff development is critical, given our rapid worldwide expansion plans."