Sets holds graduation ceremony | 21 December 2020
A cohort of the tourism leadership and management upskilling programme, as part of the Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme (Sets), graduated on Saturday.
The 65 individuals who graduated had been employed in the tourism industry but were made redundant earlier this year, on account of the economic outfall of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Taken up by Sets, the participants undertook the upskilling programme which was conducted in collaboration with the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) over the course of fourteen weeks.
The management course comprised fourteen modules, inspired from the Advance Diploma in Hospitality Management (ADHM) course, covering strategic and crisis management, SWOT analysis, elements of leadership and management and human resource.
The purpose of the upskilling programme is to develop and sharpen the participants’ leadership and management capabilities, with the vision that they claim the management positions in tourism establishments that are regularly passed on to expatriates.
“Today we have seen the result of the investment in upskilling 65 workers in the tourism sector to take up leadership and management posts. Interestingly, 65 out of 70 successfully completed the programme which indicates a high success rate,” stated the chief executive of Sets, Guy Morel.
Mr Morel noted that Sets will work with the graduates and other stakeholders to place them in employment.
A significant number of the participants have already secured employment in the tourism industry.
Mr Morel added that leadership is a never-ending learning process and henceforth the graduates will have to continue building on their knowledge through master classes and so on.
He urged the graduates to strengthen their resolve and to not be discouraged by challenges, adding that he has already noticed a radical transformation among the participants.
Sets and partners, such as the employment and tourism departments, will follow up on them and ensure that the localisation plan for the tourism sector goes well.
With over 30 years of hands-on experience in the tourism sector, 56-year-old Fiona Nibourette found herself needing to register on Sets after being made redundant early this year. Now after completing the leadership and management course, Ms Nibourette is hoping to dive right back in the hospitality industry.
“I started out at Mahé Beach Hotel way back in the 80s, then moved on to Air Seychelles in 1985 but was made redundant in 2012. It was not easy to get work but I finally got a job with Creole Travel Services and was made redundant again.”
“The course was very challenging but you are never too old to learn. It was a very good course, especially in terms of management[…]I believed in myself, I was already in a management position but it taught me more.”
Ms Nibourette is currently shopping around for job placement.
Jilbert Freminot, 42 years old, is a former employee of the closed down Banyan Tree Resort and noted that the re-skilling programme was an opportunity to learn new things.
“I did not learn about any of these things when I was taking my culinary course at STA back in the day so I took the opportunity now to learn as much as possible,” said Mr Freminot.
Sets came into play in July 2020 as an emergency framework to deal with workers that were being made redundant. The short-term relief scheme was expected to expire by the end of this year but Sets will now operate up until February 2021.
“Although Sets will close down in February, other professional development programmes continue. We have institutions such as STA, Ministry of Tourism, and Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA),” clarified Mr Morel.
“It is important to note that there is a lot of work available in Seychelles. Seychellois must be ready to work […] The Sets contract is quite clear on the fact that you do not get paid if you are refusing to work,” explained Mr Morel.
Aside from the tourism upskilling programme, Sets has also ran a foundation course for the financial services industry, an entrepreneurship development programme and soon, in January, it will be introducing a course in compliance in the financial services.
“It is important that we diversify our economy, however tourism will remain the pillar of the country’s economy. It is a US $0.64 billion generating sector, post-Covid, and the objective is for the tourism industry to reach US $1 billion per year. We have not only looked at the tourism industry however but also the strategic sectors,” noted Mr Morel.
Since Sets started its programmes, about 900 redundant workers have signed up with Sets among whom approximately 300 have gained employment.
There are 600 more still registered with Sets and, as announced, Sets will continue with its work until end of February.
After February, the programme will be abolished and other mechanisms will be put in place for workers that are made redundant.