Invest for Jobs, MEST partner to train skilled workforce to drive hospitality industry

Invest for Jobs launched a project with MEST to provide specialised academic and practical training for youth within the hospitality sector

Invest for Jobs, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has launched a project with Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) to provide specialised academic and practical training for over a hundred youth within the hospitality sector.

Dubbed the ‘Hospitality Learning and Job Creation Hub’, the training will be provided by JB Consultant Group with practical situational training expected to take place at La Villa Boutique Hotel, Accra. Both JB Consultant Group and La Villa Boutique Hotel are collaborating with MEST on the project.

Combining both traditional classroom, apprenticeship and practical methodologies, the training will involve in-hotel accommodation for trainees and hands-on lessons from experienced hoteliers and consultants.

It will also provide a platform whereon trainees and well-established hospitality industry players will be matched – thereby creating employment opportunities. Some of the courses to be provided include food and beverage services, bartending and strategic managers’ training.

Speaking during the project’s official launch in Accra on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, Anne-Marie Castel-Langefeld-Head of Component ‘Business & Invest’ of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, said 120 training opportunities and 90 jobs will resultantly be created by the end of 2022.

“This project falls within the core mandate of Invest for Jobs: Creating training opportunities and jobs, especially for youth and women, by partnering with the private sector to address investment barriers like the qualification of potential employees,” she stated.

“It intends to address the growing unemployment problem in Ghana by helping to get qualified young people for employment opportunities in the hospitality industry of Ghana,” she added.

The tourism and hospitality sector is a major driver of the Ghanaian economy. Projections for tourist receipts in the National Tourism Development Plan (2013 – 2027) show a rise from US$1.5billion in 2017 to US$2.5billion in 2022 and US$4.3bn in 2027. The gross contribution of foreign exchange to GDP is also expected to rise from 5 percent in 2017 to 5.2 percent in 2022, and reach 5.7 percent by 2027 (ILO, 2020).

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, exposed the sector to a range of external factors which have had adverse impacts on it.

So, to further build resilience against the impacts of these factors, a range of trends including digitalisation, demand for increased quality of customer service, and related skills development is expected to drive the change.

Describing the Ghanaian tourism and hospitality industry as a key sector, Ashwin Ravichandran, Portfolio Advisor-MEST, said the project is a massive learning curve that will help trainees understand the sector’s importance to the coronavirus-era economic recovery plan of the country.

On her part Judith Biel, Managing Director-JB Consultant Group, said the tourism sector needs skilled labour for catering to the diverse challenges of the evolving market; hence, the programme that trainees will be taken through will be comprehensive to ensure t they appreciate changing trends in the sector.

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