Stakeholders in the tourism, hospitality and hotel industry have asked training institutions to impart more skills and expose students to the industry. Hoteliers and tour company operators believe that there is a big mismatch between what students are taught in tourism - hospitality industry and what is exactly needed by the employers.
Hoteliers and tour operators believe that there is a big mismatch between what students are taught in tourism - hospitality industry and what is exactly needed by the employers.
Wim Kok, Matooke Tours and Lake Mutanda Resort Executive Director, says tourism schools should invest in taking students around the country and visiting tourist attraction sites. Kok says tourism graduates should be passionate and knowledgeable about their country and the sector before they leave schools.
Kok made the remarks today at Design Hub in Bugolobi during a stakeholders meeting on skills in the tourism sector organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and the Belgium Development Corporation.
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But Ruth Mwangangi, the Principal Millennium Business School in Hoima, says the problem is the curriculum that has gaps. She argues that hospitality and tourism sector is dynamic and the curriculum has not changed. She says filling gaps in the curriculum created by changes in the industry is what can solve the skills mismatch.
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Robert Ringtho Javuru, the director of TimeLine Institute of Hospitability and Catering, located in Wandegeya, says for skilling to take place, there is need for improvement of training facilities and the quality of trainers. He says teachers have limited knowledge and training schools in the tourism and hospitality sector have no training materials such as food in the catering schools.
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Ringtho says there is a need for close cooperation between training schools and industry key players such as hotel owners and tour company owners if the skills gap is to be filled. "We are all players in this industry and we need to keep talking. We have to know what the market wants and they have to know what we offer so that we fill the missing information," he said.
The Belgium ambassador in Uganda Hugo Verbist told Uganda Radio Network that Belgium Development Corporation has identified tourism in the education sector as one of the areas that require skills improvement. He says the tourism sector offers a huge potential for Uganda's economic development.
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The project will support and strengthen policy formulation and implementation in the tourism and hotel training sector. It will also assist in developing financing instruments and new modalities for training delivery.