19 May 2023
Train even more and better. These are the main goals that hospitality companies and training institutions in Namibia want to strive for in closer cooperation in the future. At the congress of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), a joint roadmap for improving tourism training was drawn up.
More than 24 providers of training modules attended the congress, including universities, vocational training centres, institutions focusing on specialised areas and "mobile trainers". In addition, there were tourism enterprises that train their staff themselves in extensive training and education programmes, such as Gondwana Collection Namibia. With the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) and the Namibia Training Authority (NTA), the relevant authorities were also represented.
On the first day of the congress, the delegates discussed deficiencies and established practices in education in the tourism sector. It came up that many school leavers hardly have an idea about tourism, let alone know how extensive and multi-layered the sector is.
Representatives of hospitality businesses also criticised that tourism courses are not sufficiently geared to practice. Successful graduates would expect managerial positions and salaries, but would not have the necessary theoretical knowledge or practical experience.
On the other hand, the congress highlighted the variety and range of training and education modules in Namibia. Internships have been part of academic training for some time. However, given the high number of students, there seems to be a lack of internships.
Several representatives of host companies pointed out that most young Namibians rarely or never travel themselves. There is a general lack of stimulation that one gets from travelling or working abroad. One solution suggested was to set up exchange programmes. Others complained about the poaching of young people and professionals in Namibia by hotels or theme parks in Europe.
There was unanimity at the HAN Congress that the tourism sector in Namibia must offer young Namibians even more attractive perspectives. This includes offers for training and career opportunities. This is the only way to counter the shortage of skilled workers, which Namibia, like all tourist countries worldwide, has been suffering from since the time of the travel restrictions due to Corona.
After all, all delegates agreed, Namibia is also made for tourism because of its people. Namibian tourists are always impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the people.
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