Skills development in India’s tourist industry

India’s tourism industry has trebled in value over the past few years, creating a surge in demand for new recruits and training provision.

27 November 2012 / Be the first to comment

India’s tourism industry has trebled in value over the past few years, creating a surge in demand for new recruits and training provision in the sector. Figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council suggest that by 2021, travel and tourism will account for over 30 million jobs in India - an increase of more than 22 per cent over the next decade.

However, despite the expansion in work opportunities, many Indian employers are sourcing employees from colleges outside the area where their tourist businesses are based, meaning local communities are being overlooked for recruitment.

City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development (CSD) is exploring these issues in a project that looks at the barriers to recruiting and training individuals from local communities and marginalised groups, as well as the potential business benefits tourist organisations could gain from improving community engagement.

‘We’re looking at the situation from the dual perspective of hotels and local communities,’ explains Project Manager Chris Gale. ‘Anecdotal evidence suggests there are real benefits for tourist businesses when they recruit and train locally, but this isn’t fully understood by the sector. Our project will explore the business opportunities in more detail, as well as understanding the barriers to enabling these opportunities.’

CSD’s research report due to be published in January,takes an in-depth look at four hotels in the Southern regions of India that have recruited from local communities and are running in-house training programmes.

‘By analysing their approaches, and the resulting benefits to business and community, we can build up a clearer understanding of possible ways forward for the sector to meet its recruitment and skills development needs,’ explains Gale.

CSD plan to use its research findings to design and implement a training pilot scheme in hotel groups that have not previously recruited or trained individuals from local communities and marginalised groups. The pilot scheme will help to raise awareness of effective approaches to skills training in the sector, and highlight career progression routes.

It’s hoped that the pilot scheme, coupled with a rigorous evaluation process, will encourage other hotel groups to consider whether they can implement similar training programmes. In the long term, this will contribute towards improving the potential for tourism to be a force for sustainable development in India, creating high quality employment and skills development for people from local communities and disadvantaged backgrounds.

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