The hospitality sector in Uganda under the umbrella organization - Uganda Hotel Owner’s Association (UHOA), together with Swisscontact and the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) have developed a structured training guide to support skilling of young people in hospitality. The guide was launched by the Chairperson of UHOA, Ms Susan Muhwezi on 25th June 2020 in Kampala.
The guide will provide a framework for imparting skills relevant for young people working in food preparation, housekeeping, and tour guide. This initiative comes at a time when the hospitality sector is struggling to reawaken following the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic that saw many businesses count significant losses in the wake of the national lockdown which resulted in massive lay-offs.
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, businesses in the hospitality sector are cautious but optimistic about the future.
“The guide comes at the right time to prepare the hospitality sector labour force to carry out their jobs professionally and efficiently while providing the best service to their clients,” commented the chairperson of UHOA, Susan Muhwezi.
The U- LEARN project together with the private sector implementing partners in the hospitality industry are using the guide to train over 300 young people to enable them to be more competitive in the job market. The hands-on training is designed to be covered within six months. Once completed, trained beneficiaries will be assessed by DIT, which ensures national, regional, and international recognition through a high-quality assurance mechanism with emphasis on qualification, standards, and equivalent ratings.
The hospitality sector is crucial for the development of Uganda. It is a significant contributor to national revenue and an employment provider to many Ugandans. Despite its positive contribution, barriers to the development of the sector still exist. One major challenge is the quality of the labour force. Therefore, adopting this guide at a national level will contribute to the development of the sector.
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Swisscontact implements the U-LEARN project in Uganda and Tanzania with funding from the Mastercard Foundation. It covers over 12 districts in Uganda, intending to improve the livelihoods of 8,200 economically, socially and academically disadvantaged youths between the ages of 18 and 24 years. The project focuses on three broad sectors: agribusiness, building and construction and tourism and hospitality. The project is guided by a unique youth and market-driven learning group model.