The Vocational Training Authority (VTA) under the guidance of Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Chandima Weerakkody, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jetwing Hotels Ltd, Sri Lanka’s premier hospitality brand, to improve and increase employability in the hospitality industry for youth in Pottuvil, through the provision of necessary training and technical support.
While Chairman Hiran Cooray signed the MoU on behalf of Jetwing Hotels, Chairman/CEO Eng. Dr. Lionel Pinto signed on behalf of the vocational training authority on 12 July.
VTA and Jetwing Hotels have committed to ensure that the students selected are provided with sound training in food and beverage, cookery, housekeeping as well as in front office management. The students who successfully complete the training course will receive National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) 3/4 qualifications. Their training will encompass technical knowledge as well as English and soft skills in keeping with the requirements of the hospitality sector, which will ensure that the students are prepared for the world of hospitality both nationally and internationally. Both parties will work towards providing a conducive environment to retain a maximum number of trainees.
The Vocational Training Authority (VTA) will be responsible for the overall coordination of the training, while providing the training space and facilities at the VTA Training Centre – Pottuvil. As the key party responsible for the training, Jetwing will ensure all training is delivered to the required standards. The program will be in line with the Jetwing Youth Development Project (JYDP), initiated in 2006, to ensure local community development through tourism.
JYDP was 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 and 2016. To date, 19 programs have been successfully completed. The key objectives of JYDP were 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, with an additional focus of 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, thus creating a pathway for a successful career within the hospitality industry.
In addition, the trainees will be exposed to properties all around the island, thanks to Jetwing’s ambitious and currently underway expansion plans. All trainees who successfully complete the program will be offered employment at Jetwing Surf – Pottuvil Point.