Fulfilling the Prime Minister's 'Skill India' Mission, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship had launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) in the year 2015. One such program for hospitality is LEAP. It focuses on the tourism and hospitality sector, and is working closely with the Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC) to identify industry partners in different states like Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh across prominent tourist destinations such as Jaipur, Agra, Udaipur, etc. Under LEAP, the staff of hotels in such cities will be trained. It will cover all the hospitality staff ranging from the top 4-5 star hotels to budget hotels, and aims to train over 3000 employees in the hospitality and tourism sector within 2017, under the RPL initiative.
The full form of LEAP is Learning, Employability and Progress and is an impact-oriented organization. It has played a major role in imparting industry relevant skills, as well as life-long skills to the youth of the geography where LEAP operates in. LEAP Skills Academy has engaged with over 3000 students across towns in North India with an aim to create an effective skill ecosystem. The process begins with the identification and selection of motivated trainees, followed by targeted training programs, and ends with channelling trained students to the right employers.
Some benefits of these programs:
Need of training and skill development in tourism and Hospitality? â€¨
Tourism in India accounts for around 7 to 7.5 per cent of the GDP and is the third largest foreign exchange earner for the country. The tourism and hospitality sector's direct contribution to GDP in 2016, is estimated to be US$47 billion. By the end of 2016, the travel and tourism sector had contributed to more than Rs 10 trillion or 8% of India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and contributed to almost more than 9% of total employment in India. As per a study by the Ministry of Tourism, formally trained managerial staff accounts for only 16% of the total hospitality sector and 21% of the total travel and trade sector workforce.
There is a critical need to impart tourism and hospitality specific skills to young persons aspiring to join the tourism sector. There is another programme called Skill Testing & Certification, the Ministry tests and certifies the skills of the existing service providers already employed/engaged in the sector. Various courses are being offered in hospitality and trades like Food Production, Food & Beverage Service, Housekeeping Utility and Bakery & Patisserie. As on date, we have training courses for event facilitators, skin & spa therapist, tour assistants, office assistants, etc. and they are fully funded by the Ministry of Tourism.
A lot of hotels have started investing online education to train and certify their employees on operations throughout the hotel such as housekeeping, service culture, food and beverage, special event planning, revenue management, guest services and more. Owners of hotel chains say, “We introduce such courses time to time when our employees need more professional development education to supplement on the job training. Such education tools give employees ultimate flexibility and the owners should monitor the same. The ability for an employee to revisit the individual role and responsibilities and how he or she integrates within the property has been beneficial for cross training and instilling the importance of providing the highest level of service to our guests.”
Thus, training offers a systematic beginning, which ensures lower employee attrition, reduce costs and above all improve service culture scores. Regardless of where a hotel, we have numerous online and offline learning management system can be helpful for owners and operators to assess their property’s current processes and identify new avenues for improved operations.