Seychelles and Ireland partnering to provide tourism-ready workforce

The head of Shannon College, Dr. Phillip Smyth, is in Seychelles and was speaking to members of the press last week during an interview held at the office of the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange.

The Seychelles Tourism Academy and the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland are in the process of reviewing the partnership between the two institutions.

Speaking to members of the press, Minister St.Ange said it is a time that they are reviewing where they are and the partnership they have with Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland.

“We are now assessing where we have reached and reviewing what we are achieving for Seychelles, and we believe that now is a good time to do it,” Minister St.Ange said.

Minister St.Ange thanked Dr. Smyth on behalf of the government of Seychelles for this collaboration and the spirit of togetherness which has existed since the two institutions have gone into partnership, aimed at moving the level of the students entering the tourism industry.

He said preparing the Seychelles people for the future is today more important than ever before, adding that the growth of their own young Seychellois who return from their studies at Shannon College are as important as those who are following their training at the Seychelles Tourism Academy which is being closely followed.

Minister St.Ange thanked the academy for its continued devotion for training Seychellois, and Shannon College for helping the academy in attaining its aims.

He reaffirmed the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s commitment in following the development of those graduates, adding that it is vital for them to be able to achieve greater heights.

Minister St.Ange said it is equally important to help those already in the industry, opening doors of opportunities for them to also be able to manage small hotels.

He also stressed on the need to give added value to Seychellois workers so that they can take up more supervisory roles, now occupied by foreigners.

Dr. Smyth said the degree level program developed by the academy and the college to educate Seychellois leaders for the hotel industry at both institutions has already started to make an impact.

He added that the program is funded by the Seychelles government to develop a stream of young graduates in hotel management who will gradually take leadership roles in the country’s tourism industry.

Dr. Smyth said these leaders will encourage and develop an understanding of the diversity of careers in the hotel industry and help to inculcate a love of service and hospitality.

“This will help to ensure that visitors to the Seychelles will get the best possible Seychellois experience and that the contribution of the hotel industry to the economy and society will be maximized,” he said.

Dr. Smyth said he has examined the statistics provided by the Department of Labor in relation to the project, and they are encouraging.

He added that out of the 37 graduates, 26 are currently in hotels, all in management or supervisory positions.

“Seychelles has now a sustainable program in place to deliver a stream of Seychellois managers to the hotel industry,” he added.

The Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Flavien Joubert, said he welcomes the announcement made by the Ministry of Labor and Human Resource Development, whereby as from this year, all hotels will have a succession and localization plan.

“We can train our students and send them in the industry, but we do not have the power to insist that the hotels have a succession and localization plan, therefore, the academy salutes this initiative from the Ministry of Labor and Human Resource Development,” he said.

Mr. Joubert added that he is satisfied with the graduates who have returned, as they are good academically and practically, and they have a good level of professionalism.

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) . For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.