Upskilling courses set to boost the Irish hospitality and tourism sector

SOURCE: JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP
The hospitality and tourism sector has taken a hit from the impact of COVID-19.


By U2B Staff 

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The hospitality and tourism sector has taken a hit from the global impact of COVID-19, and many businesses in this sector have been forced to either pause or completely shut down.

Some countries have fared better than others in restoring normalcy and businesses have implemented new operating practices to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

In an effort to support the survival of the industry, the government of Ireland recently announced that it will be providing two online skills programmes for workers in the hospitality and tourism sector in the region.

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“As a major employer in Ireland, the hospitality and tourism sector have identified the need to retain key talent and develop leadership capability to rejuvenate businesses for recovery and growth.”

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Skills, Niall Collins TD recently announced two new skills programmes to assist hospitality and tourism sectors with COVID-19 challenges and ensure they are ready for reopening of the sectors.

Minister Harris said COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the Irish economy and the hospitality sector has been badly impacted.

“The sector has temporarily had to close, and I want to ensure we use this time to support the sector in preparing for when they can resume business. The hospitality and tourism sectors are vital to the Irish economy and we must support it to recover and grow,” Harris said.

While the sector is not expected to be fully operational until summer this year, the upskilling programmes can ensure that the hospitality and tourism industry is able to survive and grow upon fully reopening.

This government-led upskilling initiative is developed by Solas which is the State agency tasked with building a world-class Further Education and Training (FET) sector and the Education and Training Boards.

Both programmes were developed in consultation with the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) and Fáilte Ireland and are believed to assist the recovery and growth in the hospitality and tourism sector.

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The programmes are designed to develop team leaders and develop supervisory management capability.

The Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism programmes will upskill team leaders and supervisory staff in critical areas including finance and people management.

Employees in this sector will be trained in customer care, digital skills, communications, strategic planning, and management and will learn green and sustainability skills.

The upskilling opportunities will be rolled out across the country in each Education and Training Boards from March. The first has begun in Limerick with 30 people participating.

Commenting on the collaboration, Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President at the IHF said the primary goal of IHF is to protect and restore livelihoods in our hotel, guesthouse, and broader tourism community across the country.

Kane added, “These two hospitality training programmes are very relevant and support the development of the leadership and management skillsets required to recover and grow tourism in Ireland sustainably. My industry colleagues and I look forward to collaborating and working in partnership on this very welcome and timely initiative.”