Hospitality only a course away for India's unskilled workforce

Hospitality only a course away for India's unskilled workforce

The need for trained staff, to man these hotels, only becomes more apparent as the many properties compete with each other, with service becoming a key competitive factor.

Training of hotel staff, hence, becomes very important and with the industry set to boom, the candidates wanting to take the plunge and learn the nuances of good service are many.

Skills training institute IndiaSkills, a joint venture between Manipal Education and City & Guild UK, has taken hospitality training a notch above, by aiming to train an unskilled workforce and enabling it to become professional staff of the hospitality sector.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, IndiaSkills CEO Hari Menon said: “IndiaSkills aims to impart job skills to the growing pool of unskilled workers across the country, a majority of which are youngsters who have just completed their education or dropped out of the system.”

Basic education
Menon added that though they have their basic education in place, unfortunately, they lack specific job skills needed to perform well in their field.

The institute offers six job-specific qualifications under the hospitality sector, Menon said, which are Certificate in Front Office Operations, Certificate in Food & Beverage Service, Certificate in Housekeeping Operations & Services, Certificate in Facilities Operations & Services, Award in Barista Skills and Diploma in Food Preparation & Culinary Arts.

“As of now, these are the three qualifications that we offer to potential learners. We are also coming up with entry level courses in Food Preparation and Barista Skills, slated to be in the market by the middle of next year,” he said.

The Barista Skills course is a unique 24-hour programme providing learners with specialist skills in beverage making, while the Food Preparation & Culinary Arts is a diploma course, giving a thorough understanding on the intricacies involved in kitchen maintenance, design, menu planning and nutritional aspects, besides a module on economic usage of food items and managing food costs which are important factors in a hotel kitchen.

The courses are specifically designed to provide hands-on training in various aspects like stress and crisis management, customer relationship, people management and personality development.

Menon explained that depending on the qualification of candidates, the eligibility criteria for the courses range from Class VII pass to 12th pass, which is set for this demographic and the course fees are in the range of Rs 4,800 and Rs 12,800, depending on the specific course selected.

With the City set to become truly global, Menon observed, the hospitality sector would tremendously grow, inevitably leading to an increased demand for manpower and since hospitality is a skills-oriented industry, a subsequent demand for hospitality courses.

According to a 2009 National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) report, it is estimated that more than 40 lakh skilled personnel will be required by the industry, by 2022.

“A sudden rise in manpower demand also leads to organisations recruiting people on an immediate need basis. Companies have a large manpower resource pool to recruit from, but only a minimal percentage of it comprises of skilled manpower. This leads to a situation wherein the employers start taking in unskilled manpower, reducing the credibility and need of certificate courses in hospitality,” Menon said, adding that hotels need to keep in mind that an unskilled personnel leads to reduced productivity, service quality and high attrition.

A perceived rise in demand for hospitality courses holds true only if the hotels maintain the demand for skilled service professionals.

Hotels can also look at tying up with skills training organisations to meet their immediate recruitment mandates and maintain skills standards at the same time.
Presently, IndiaSkills has tie-ups with industry players to provide placement for its learners such as Cafe Coffee Day, Manipal County, Sterling Resorts and so on, Menon informed.

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