Internal skills develop reaps far reaching rewards

The benefits of encouraging staff to progress their skills and career opportunities was strongly demonstrated at the Arabian Travel Market’s Developing Tourism Skills and Employment  Opportunities in Travel & Tourism session.

“Heidi Van de Watt’s examples from South Africa showed the value of mentoring staff, “ said Christopher Warren, director of the ICRT, who moderator of the session. “These examples not only show how beneficial it is for companies to grow their own talent but the economic empowerment it can provide for low-income employees who remain loyal and highly productive.”

UAE based speakers underlined the gap between the sector’s skill needs and the quality of student knowledge from hospitality colleges. Samir Arora, general manager of The Retreat Palm Dubai pointed out that very few colleges provided the level of standards suitable for today’s highly demanding and competitive hospitality sector. Internal training was key and Samir himself was an example of Accor’s success progressing from waiter to general manager. Professor Harold Goodwin underlined this example by pointing out that tourism was one of the rare examples where staff have the scope to progress their careers.

Christopher Warren stressed that as tourism continues to grow it must fill skills gap with well-designed training to meet changing operating standards,  encourages staff loyalty by building capacity from applies structured mentoring strategies to transfer practical knowledge to new recruits.