STA and SHTA join hands to help tourism staff boost their capabilities
(Posted 10th October 2016)
After several years of negotiation, the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association and the Seychelles Tourism Academy are now offering this amazing opportunity to members of the tourism association to upgrade the skills of their staff in their daily work.
How will this work? According to Louise Testa of Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA), ‘the training will be offered by Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) and half of the cost will be paid by the hotel/guest house through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and half will be sponsored by the STA. SHTA and STA have already signed a memorandum of understanding under which this training falls‘.
The principal of the STA, Flavien Joubert, said the training will be conducted by Gerard Port-Louis from the firm Training & Consultancy Services. The training can be of any kind and will last for three to four days depending on the size of the establishment and the number of staff.
‘SHTA is the main facilitator for the in-service programmes, the benefactors are currently the members of the said association and STA will be providing the training. Murla Gabriel is the external coordinator of STA and she will be coordinating the whole programme with SHTA and Mr Port-Louis. After the training, all participants will receive an attendance certificate from STA including the logos of SHTA, STA and Mr Port-Louis‘ he said.
Mr Joubert also mentioned that ‘there might be participants working in small establishments who did not attend any course at the hotel school. This programme will facilitate the participants to get entrance in a course at the STA in the future. It will be short courses to improve service and once a participant has four to five such certificates, he or she can go to SQA (Seychelles Qualifications Authority) to get it accredited’.
‘Some small houses and guesthouses are owner managed and they never got a chance to go for training. It is a very good opportunity that has been opened to them. If hoteliers and staff are interested other avenues will be opened such as short-term attachments to other hotel schools or establishments‘ added Mr Joubert.
‘Our main aim is to improve customer service in all our institutions. The success and the continuity of these programmes will have to be ensured by the managers of the institutions. All new guest houses, restaurants and small hotels operators are also being encouraged to consider going through some training in order to give the right service to our guests‘ said Peter Moncherry, the General Manager at the STA.
Responding to criticisms over the level of service being offered in the hotel industry, Mr Joubert said: ‘I am listening to them and this is why we have finally implemented this programme. Every year we are supplying the country with some 250 full-time graduates and it is still not enough as they are employed immediately by the big institutions. The issue comes from the 30% of apprentices who do not complete their courses properly. At the academy we are fully aware of this situation and we seize this opportunity to invite the small hoteliers to consider training their staff on a regular basis‘.
Mr Port-Louis pointed out that the hotels should sustain the programme after we leave. There is also a demand from the new markets such as tankers, yachts, airport, SCAA, Emirates and training is a continuous process to upgrade the capabilities of the staff.
Currently SHTA has some 150 active members and this training will benefit some 75% of them.