Why is the project needed?
The tourism and hospitality sector in the Mediterranean region is subject to seasonality and, consequently, a large part of the workforce is employed seasonally. In Croatia, it is estimated that about 30 to 40% of all jobs in hospitality are seasonal. In Italy 12.4 % of employees in tourism sector are estimated to be seasonal and it is also known that in Sicily tourism depends highly on seasons – around 60% of tourism demand is recorded in the summer months between June and September. In Greece it is estimated that more than 40% of jobs are seasonal.
A significant number of seasonal workers does not have specific training and experience in the sector. In Croatia, according to the survey of the Croatian Employment Office, 63% of workers have their formal training that is unrelated to jobs in tourism and hospitality and 32% of them work in seasonal hospitality jobs for the first time. In Greece, most of the staff in the hospitality sector (63,5%) are graduates of secondary education, with no professional training in tourism, and are executing tasks of low specialization. In Italy (Sicily), most tourism companies are small and medium-sized enterprises, many of them run by families who do not have a specific education or training. In all three countries, training of the seasonal workers is informal work-based and delegated to supervisors who lack the proper training skills delivering often ineffective, inefficient and inconsistent training.
Poorly trained employees have an adverse effect on customer service, reduced job satisfaction, poor morale, often leading to a high turnover and costs associated with hiring and training new staff. With the shortage of skills among seasonal workers and the lack of VET training opportunities, the well-designed work-based learning program will contribute to closing the skill-gap of seasonal hospitality workers.
There is strong evidence that work-based learning improves employability and facilitates transition from theoretical learning to practical application in the workplace. For this reason the European Commission strongly encourages governments, social partners, and education and training providers to promote work-based learning in its different forms (High-performance apprenticeships & work-based learning: 20 guiding principles, European Commission). According to CEDEFOP, work-based learning is important not only for initial VET, but also in continuing vocational education and training (CVET), as adults need to update and broaden their skills regularly. Work-based learning is considered a powerful way to support adult training and contribute to competitiveness and growth.
What are project objectives?
The specific objectives of the SeasonReady project are:
- To assist enterprises in the development of motivated, skilled, confident and dependable workers in three key areas of hospitality – front-line operations, food and beverages services and housekeeping
- To develop a training methodology based on the principles of work-based learning adaptable to local and regional context
- To assist potential in-house trainers to develop skills and training techniques to ensure training is effective to both employees and employers
- To provide seasonal workers with the proper mix of skills, knowledge and attitudes required for a job in hospitality sector
- To provide recommendations to stakeholders for the further development of a sustainable WBL methodology in HSME at regional and national level
Who will benefit from SeasonReady?
- Seasonal employees in hospitality sector, specifically those working in jobs related to front office, food and beverages and housekeeping and
- Hospitality firms’ owners/operators/managers in charge of recruitment, training and management of human resources
- Professional hospitality and tourism associations
- VET schools, teachers and trainers
- Tourism and tourism education related policy makers and administrators