Semi-skilled Lankans for entry-level jobs in Gulf hotels
The Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM)
launched a training programme to train rural youth to equip them with
entry-level skills to secure employment in international-class hotels
operating in the Gulf States.
The pilot programme was launched in Kandy, through the Kandy
Satellite Campus of SLITHM, commencing in July 2007. The first batch of
trainees comprising 120 youth have completed their institutional
training, including an English langauge crash course for one month, and
are currently undergoing their industrial training with reputed hotels
The second batch comprising 160 youth completed the institutional
training last month and is being placed in hotels for their industrial
One of the leading private sector hotel management companies in the
country Aitken Spence Hotel Management Services Ltd
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Faizer Musthapha with Hotellier
Pic by Saliya Rupasinghe
has joined the
scheme and is currently training youth for the same purpose at its newly
established training centre at Ahungalla.
A reputed private sector training institute engaged in training
activities for the hospitality industry needs. Win-Stone School of
Culinary Art, Nugegoda, too has joined the scheme and has already
trained 50 youth for the purpose.
The project is the ‘brain-child’ of Deputy Minister of Tourism,
Faizer Musthapha, who recognised the massive opportunity available for a
vast number of skilled staff in hotels operated in Gulf States, after
his visit to the “Arabian Travel mart” this year. There is a demand in
existing hotels aand in the new hotel projects that are coming up in the
region, for around 75,000 skill-level staff.
Most South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are
competing to get a share of this golden opportunity. Deputy Minister
said that there is a growing demand for female employees and their
intake is very low.
He said that after training for five months they would be employed
for salaries starting at US $ 100. “This is an attraction other
industries cannot achieve” he said.
Plans are underway to take the programme to other parts of the
island, facilitated through Regional Campuses of the SLITHM situated at
Anuradhapura, Bandarawela and Matara commencing from year 2008. The
target is to place a minimum of 2,000 skilled staff in Gulf hotels by
the end of year 2008.
It is also hoped this will give a considerable boost to remittances
of foreign income earnings by Sri Lankan staff employed in the Middle
The earning capacity of hotel staff is much higher compared with the
majority of Sri Lankans presently working inthe Middle east in
categories such as construction and road workers and domestic aides,
which is the largest category.