The Seychelles Tourism Academy is taking over ferry fees of La Digue students studying at the Academy Annex on the island of Praslin. Effective July 2014, the Academy will bear the student’s ferry fee when they travel between the two islands to follow their courses in Praslin.
Presently, ten students from La Digue are studying at the Tourism Academy Annex on Praslin. Once every week they travel to Praslin to follow their course.
The Academy is also studying a proposal for students’ bus passes. These passes will cut down on students’ cost to travel to and from the Annex that is situated at Baie Sainte Anne on Praslin. Currently, the students at the Seychelles Tourism Academy Praslin Annex are bearing both buses and ferry fares. These new measures came in the wake of a visit by the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, at the Seychelles Tourism Academy Annex on Praslin. Minister St.Ange felt it was important that the parent Ministry of the Academy accompanied these students in their studies to successfully complete their courses and join the hospitality and tourism industry as young professionals.
“If we say that tourism is the pillar of the economy, then we need to continue to facilitate the training years of our students and build our student’s capacity to facilitate their entry into the industry,” Alain St.Ange, the Minister for Tourism and Culture said.
The Annex of the Seychelles Tourism Academy is located in one of the classrooms of the Baie Sainte Anne Primary school. Students converted this small classroom into an area dedicated to their practical and theoretical Kitchen and Pastry, Restaurant and Bar courses. Due to the unavailability of space, the Housekeeping and Reception course is offered by the Academy at the Praslin Bahaii Centre at Baie Sainte Anne. Forty-two students from Praslin and La Digue are taking their courses at the Tourism Academy Annex. The numbers could eventually go up as interest is constantly growing to have more people on these islands trained on their home turf for a career in the Hospitality and Tourism industry.
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture understands that the only way to increase its quotas of graduates on these islands is to opt for a bigger modern school. Alain St.Ange came out with a new proposed plan to build a wing of the proposed Culture Building as a new Tourism Academy at Baie Sainte Anne on Eve Island.
“Our dream is to have a hotel and restaurant d’application on Praslin. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture already has a plot of land on Eve Island. It is clear that we need to ensure that a wing of this proposed Culture Building becomes the Tourism Academy on this island. It is clear; there is a need for it,” Minister St.Ange said.
The Seychelles Tourism Academy has turned what used to be an Apprentice scheme pilot project, into a full-fledged Annex of the Academy. In 2004, the Praslin Apprentice Scheme opened with 21 students. Conceived as a pilot project run by professionals of the tourism industry, the Praslin Apprentice Scheme started by offering three courses – Kitchen and Pastry, Restaurant and Bar, and House Keeping and Reception. In 2007, the scheme became a branch under the Seychelles Tourism Academy to be later called the Praslin Annex of the Seychelles Tourism Academy. The range of courses offered, however, has remained unchanged. The course contents are similar to the ones offered by the Seychelles Tourism Academy on Mahe. In its bid to diversify courses offered by the Praslin Annex, the Seychelles Tourism Academy will in 2015 be introducing a new course in Wellness and Spa.
Minister Alain St.Ange used his visit to the Praslin Annex to congratulate Flavien Joubert, the Principal of the Tourism Academy, and his team and also thestaff members responsible for the operation on Praslin. “You are showing that where there is a will, there is a way. The students have reconfirmed that they appreciate the courses on offer and the tourism trade on Praslin are today appreciating the level of training being offered and the results of training that is so apparent in the trainees. I want to reassure you all that the government stands with you lecturers and students, and together we shall continue to move forward and deliver what is expected of the Tourism Academy,” Minister St.Ange said.