VTN project collaborates with Jetwing Hotels to increase employment in hospitality for youth in nort

Friday, 23 January 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH – Vocational Training in the North of Sri Lanka (VTN) project recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Vocational Training Authority (VTA) and Jetwing Hotels, Sri Lanka’s premier hospitality brand to improve and increase employability in the hospitality industry for 160 youth through the provision of necessary training and technical support. From left: GIZ Sri Lanka Country Director Randa Kourieh-Ranarivelo, Jetwing Hotels Chairman Hiran Cooray, VTA Chairman Col. Dharshana Ratnayake and GIZ VTN Project Senior Advisor Kumudhini Rosa sign an MoU to improve and increase employability in the hospitality industry for youth in the north     The VTA’s Karainagar – Jaffna Training Centre has been identified as the main recipient of all support assistance extended as part of this new partnership. The 14 month MoU, expected to run until end December 2015, will see to the activation of several key interventions, including the design of infrastructure and training environment of the VTA Karainagar Training Centre, provision of technical training for young men and women in the area, delivery of four training courses for two batches of 80 trainees in food and beverage, cookery, housekeeping and front office management. All students who successfully complete the four training courses will receive the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 3/4 qualifications. Both GIZ and Jetwing have committed to provide monetary and in-kind support such as technical experience, knowledge and sharing of learning, ensuring that the students’ learning experience will increase not just their knowledge and capacity, but their employability too. Additionally, the two parties have agreed to foster a conducive training environment that will help retain a minimum of 90% of students that complete the course successfully. As the implementing partner of this initiative, the VTA will be responsible for overall coordination of the training, liaising with both VTN and Jetwing. The VTA will make available its Karainagar Centre as the training hub providing the physical space and equipment for the training while also being responsible for administrative and logistics related aspects until completion of the initiative. As the key party responsible for the training, Jetwing will ensure all four courses are delivered at required standards. To this end, Jetwing will join forces with VTA and VTN to develop criteria for student recruitment and conduct of final examinations. The program will be in line with the Jetwing Youth Development Project (JYDP), initiated in 2006, to ensure local community development through tourism. JYDP has been an immense success, and received much international acclaim by winning the Grand Award in Education and Training from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in 2007. To date, eight programs have been successfully completed, with two programs currently underway (JYDP – Passikudah phase II, and JYDP – Galle). The key objectives of JYDP are to involve the local communities in tourism, by providing employment opportunities for the youth and the capacity to learn, self-develop, and succeed in the hospitality industry, whilst addressing the shortage of manpower in the industry. JYDP is structured in a way that will enhance the language skills, as well as the theoretical and practical knowledge of hotel operations and management. Industrial placements within Jetwing hotels during the latter stages of the program have enabled all JYDP trainees to get a clearer understanding of hotel operations and management. Through Jetwing’s ambitious expansion plans currently underway the trainees will be exposed to properties around the island. The VTN will work closely with each party overseeing and monitoring progress of all activities conducted under the MoU and will support its two partners in the establishment of processes and tools to integrate and maintain gender equity and equality throughout the duration of the MoU. The VTN project was first established in January 2012 as a result of a bilateral cooperation between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Federal Republic of Germany. The project is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (German Development Bank, KfW) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is co-funded by the Federal Office for Migration (after 1 January State Secretary for Migration SEM) of the Government of Switzerland. The Sri Lankan Governmental partners are the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) as a political partner and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development as the key implementing partner and its implementing arm – the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA). All initiatives of the VTN project are expected to foster post-war economic growth in the country that is both driven and sustained by qualified personnel. One of the crucial outcomes of the project is to establish a state of the art training centre in Kilinochchi - the Sri Lankan-German Training Institute (SLGTI). By providing training in technical trades and offering National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Levels 4, 5 & 6, SLGTI will equip youth with the skills and competencies they need to compete in the labour market. The German Development Bank (KfW) will finance the physical structure and equipment of the centre. GIZ has partnered with the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) in providing technical support, including training the trainers, developing the curriculum and establishing English language courses. A salient feature of the VTN project is to collaborate with the private sector in the design, implementation and follow up ensuring employability of the trainees who complete the SLGTI training courses. The signing of the MoU between VTN and Jetwing is the first of such collaborations with the private sector.