In light of its continuous efforts to support the local and regional hospitality sector and satisfy the market's needs and demands for trainees, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA), one of the leading institution offering professional education in Culinary Arts in Jordan, is introducing a unique three-month intensive hands-on training course which seeks to develop young people’s, and especially females’, competencies relevant for the sector to allow them entering the job market and generate income.
"RACA is beyond happy to launch this TVET program in cooperation with Swisscontact; as ever since its founding, following the vision of His Majesty, King Abdullah II, RACA has always sought out means to support those who have a passion and a dream to join this industry but could not afford it, through scholarship programs or various sponsorships."
Jacques Rossel, Director The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts
Students taking part in the project receive a combination of soft and technical skills particularly valuable for the sector, and also have the opportunity to improve their communication and English language competences. An additional 2-weeks on-the-job training gives them insights into work life and allows potential employers to engage and assess the young work-seekers before employing them.
It is the first time that RACA offers a high-quality vocational training that aims to build skills, economically empower vulnerable youth and engage them in viable employment in the hospitality and culinary industry. The TVET shall be recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and acknowledged by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan.
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) is an associate member of the network of EHL-certified schools, is a non-profit private Jordanian institution that offers young people professional education in Culinary Arts. Its academic programs entail a BA in food & beverage management of 4 years, as well as a Culinary Arts Diploma and a Professional Diploma Program of 2 years each. The programs are well known and highly respected in the sector for their quality, as they are based on teaching a broad variety of topics, including strengthening life skills of students and advocating for a safe learning and working space, very much also for young women.
"By building on RACA’s good reputation as an educational institution, this new programme contributes to a better acceptance of vocational education in Jordanian society."
Emilija Georgieva, Swiss Ambassador in Jordan
Jordan has one of the smallest economies in the Middle East. With limited natural resources and scarce water, its economy is driven by services (hospitality & tourism), resources (phosphates, potash) and foreign aid. The hospitality and tourism sector represents therefore one of Jordan’s most promising industries. It provides good opportunities for the employment of youth in Jordan but also abroad. In particular, the sector offers many (low income) entry level jobs (i.e., cleaning, housekeeping, kitchen helper) for which higher educational degrees are not necessary, though a TVET-degree would be useful and, in many cases, even required.
Career pathways that promote inclusion and reduce inequalities
However, the local TVET system faces many challenges such as poor enrolment rate, negative social norms and cultural perceptions about professions in sectors targeted by TVET, the lack of recognition of the vocational education by the society, governmental bodies and the private sector as well as a weak ability to produce quality outputs that respond to the requirements of the labour market. Hence, the project creates additionally career pathways that promote inclusion and aim to reduce inequalities in training opportunities and income within the employment in the hospitality and tourism sector. It contributes to long-term perspectives crucial to ensure a more competitive and sustainable sector and local labour market. High quality services will strengthen Jordan’s reputation as an attractive tourist destination and are crucial for Jordan’s future work force. Finally, thanks to the technical support and expertise of Swisscontact, the project adds a new pillar to RACA’s growth, thus contributing substantially to the industry development and evolvement.
The project launch, promoted through and being reflected by social media, in particular Facebook and Instagram, and in local print media in Arabic and English, such as the Jordan Times or the Jordan News has raised strong attention among potential employers in the sector, seeking to contact RACA and expressing interest in the program. The news of the program triggered a wave of vacancies that would otherwise not be created by the employers without a proper training. So far, already more than 80 trainees have been assigned by their future employers to attend the training.
Among the guests attending the launch were the Swiss Ambassador, Ms. Emilija Georgieva, representatives of the SDC, the Minister of Labour in Jordan, H.E Mr. Nayef Steitieh, the Director General of VTC, H.E. Eng. Ahmad M. Al-Gharaibeh, the Chairman of the Jordan Hotel Association as well as representatives of leading hotels in Jordan such as the Grand Hyatt Amman, the Rotana Arjaan, the Kempinski, the Marriott or the Hilton.