New qualifications address skills gaps in tourism industry
The Samoa Qualifications Authority (S.Q.A) will launch the new Samoa Qualifications (S.Q.) in Tourism and Hospitality at the Millenia Hotel fale today.
The development sets out to address the shortage of skilled workers and existing gaps in the tourism industry.
A total of 112 National Competency Standards (N.C.Ss) which have been packaged into twelve S.Q.s were developed based on feedback provided by various employers in the tourism sector with technical advice from the Sector Advisory Group (S.A.G).
The qualifications are now registered on the Samoa Qualifications Framework (S.Q.F) after satisfying the requirements for registration.
The development of the SQs in Tourism and Hospitality started in 2013 with the support of the Samoa-Australia Partnership for Development under the T.V.E.T Support Programme coordinated by S.Q.A.
In 2013, the Tourism and Hospitality sector Needs Analysis Report identified the shortage of skilled workers ranging from management to laborer positions as barriers to the growth of the industry.
The report concluded with consultations with stakeholders that affirmed the need for skilled workers in the different areas of the industry.
Furthermore, “these have collectively indicated a need to focus on the major areas in hospitality, as well as management and tour guiding from the tourism side of the industry,” stated the report.
“However, for all these areas to provide efficient and better quality services it is essential for all employees of the industry (current and prospective) to possess the ability to be able to read, write, listen to, take notes and communicate fluently in English.”
The report also recommended that N.C.Ss should be developed for the Tourism and Hospitality sector to cater for the skills needed by various stakeholders in order for the industry to progress and maintain its place as the highest export earner for Samoa.
The newly developed S.Q.s target everyone including those without qualifications wanting to pursue careers in Tourism and Hospitality. The qualifications help to document existing knowledge and skills to further anyone’s career in the industry.
The new SQs registered on the SQF is listed below:
Samoa Certificates I – IV Tourism
Samoa Certificates I – IV Hospitality
Samoa Certificates I – IV Kitchen Operations/Commercial Cookery