The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with the National Service Scheme (NSS) has launched a programme to train NSS personnel in the tourism and hospitality industry.
The programme, dubbed “NSS-GTA Support Programme,” sought to support the tourism enterprises which had been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the launch in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive of GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, said the intervention from the National Service Secretariat was one of the sector skills upgrade to boost the tourism sector.
According to him, the programme leveraged technology, gender diversity, inclusivity and astute training models to equip tourism enterprises to achieve customer intimacy, operational excellence, marketing excellence and profitability.
He said as part of government support through the Ministry of Education and NSS, personnel posted to private operators would now be paid by the scheme as a way of supporting private tourism operators.
“And so, the component of training and orientation is part of the project to ensure that by the end of the day, they are not just posting people to work in tourism and hospitality facilities, but, they are going to impact through the training that they will be given to get them interested in the tourism and hospitality sector such that out of this, we will have a lot more entrepreneurs,” he added.
Mr Agyemang expressed hope that the programme would become one of the legacies that would support the industry.
The Chief Executive of the NSS, Mr Osei Assibey-Antwi, noted that the optimal strategy of the programme sought to create sustainable employment opportunities for the youth during and after the completion of their National Service, which was in line with President Akufo-Addo’s vision of creating sustainable jobs for the youth.
He said the nationwide programme would see 500 service personnel posted to various private tourism entities.
In a speech read on behalf of the sector Minister, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, said the programme was timely and an appropriate collaboration that would bridge the human resources governing the tourism and hospitality industry.
“I look at it as very important in a way that due to the devastating effect of COVID, the industry players are unable to employ, but this is a resource that will be made available by the kind courtesy of the NSS,” he stated.
He added that “I also want to draw the attention to the fact that this collaboration will not fail because it is in a very capable hands of GTA. The Ministry has been well informed of all the various implementation plan and we are very confident that it will turn out very successful”.
Dr Awal urged the NSS personnel to take the programme serious since it was an opportunity for them to display their competencies and skills, and bring to bear the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the industry.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR