The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has helped establish the first Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skills Organization in Jordan. The Organization, formed by the private sector and professional associations with public sector participation, will promote the development of specific skills needed to boost the local tourism and hospitality industry, which has huge economic potential.
With its world heritage sites and natural and cultural attractions, including a distinctive cuisine, Jordan’s tourism and hospitality sector is worth more than 10% of the country’s GDP (over JOD 2.8 billion in 2016) and creates many jobs across the country. However, according to sector employers, Jordan’s formal education system is currently unable to provide the skills needed to further improve service quality and make the industry grow.
The Sector Skills Organization will not only help hotels, tour operators and guides, and food services and restaurants to invest in their staff’s development but also help potential employees gain the skills that are most in demand by the industry.
The Organisation will promote tourism and hospitality careers, identify gaps in technical skills and help to set up training programs in coordination with vocational institutions and schools. It will also help introduce specific qualifications and certifications of standards.
The launch of the Organisation was celebrated today in Amman with a ceremony attended by the EBRD President, Suma Chakrabarti; EBRD Director of the Eastern Mediterranean region, Heike Harmgart; Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Imad Fakhoury; the Ministry of Labour Secretary General, Hani Khleifat ; and the Minister of Tourism, Lina Annab. The EBRD helped establish the Organisation by providing technical cooperation.
The Bank has already helped develop two training facilities in the tourism and hospitality sector in Jordan: the Abdali Mall Recruitment and Training Center in Amman, supported by the Republic of Korea and United Kingdom; and the Ayla Academy, in Red Sea town of Aqaba, supported by Taipei China. These training facilities are now well-established and have so far helped around 370 young Jordanians gain professional qualifications in high demand by employers in the tourism industry.