Tourism |24 February 2023
Revamped mentorship programme a stepping stone for progression of local talents
Shannon College graduates and local talents working in the tourism industry who have management and leadership abilities now have a stepping stone to progress on to senior management positions within the industry, with the introduction of a revamped mentorship programme.
The Tourism department yesterday announced the finer details of the programme, which has been designed to ensure that all local talents are given employment opportunities, and have access to necessary support for them to remain and progress within the local tourism industry.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, remarked that the ministry has for a long time been concerned about the lack of progress and advancement in the careers of local talents, especially Shannon College graduates, which has resulted in many leaving the industry altogether.
“You have heard me say numerous times that I am passionate about tourism, and the fact that the tourism industry must become a Seychellois-owned industry. Ideally, Seychellois-owned establishments, Seychellois-managed establishments and ideally, with Seychellois workers in the tourism industry as well as other businesses, since tourism is not limited to hotels and restaurants, but also includes taxi and boat charters and other activities,” Minister Radegonde stated.
Minister Radegonde said the practice of non-Seychellois being appointed to management and senior positions must stop since there is a pool of capable and competent Seychellois talents to fill up these positions.
He also committed to, together with management and leaders from the Tourism department, push for a change of mindset that Seychellois are not competent or capable of managing tourism establishments.
Director general of Destination Planning and Development, Paul Lebon, explained that under the programme, talents or mentees are to be assigned to one of fourteen mentors identified by the department who are willing to share their knowledge, experience and wisdom to assist in the growth and development of the mentees.
The mentees will learn skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution, managing people, leadership, which is expected to help build their confidence and provide them with a wider perspective. Together with their mentors they will set specific goals and they will meet regularly until all goals have been met, which also marks the end of the mentoring.
The department is to monitor the mentorship through visits to the talents, gathering feedback from stakeholders, including human resource personnel and general managers to ensure that the goals are being met.
A point system to reward high achievers and best performing mentees by the end of the year is also an essential component whereby the mentees will earn points for completing various tasks and activities assigned by mentors, to encourage self-development.
The fourteen mentors which mentees will have to choose from are: general manager of Hotel L'Archipel Lucas d'Offay, general manager of L'Escale Resort Marina & Spa Dereck Barbe, operations manager of Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa Vanessa Albest, general manager of Creole Travel Services Guillaume Albert, general manager of Coco de Mer Hotel and Black Parrot Suites Ash Behari, hotel manager of Doubletree Hilton Allamanda Resort and Spa Doreen de Letourdie, cluster director of Domaine de L’Orangerie Roland Georges, managing director of MFM Enterprise Michel Marie, cluster director of Human Resource of the Fisherman’s Cove Resort and STORY Seychelles Phylis Padayachy, general manager of Mason’s Travel Lenny Alvis, human resources and accommodations manager at Eden Bleu Hotel Benneth Alphonse, human resources manager at Laila Resort Lisette Lablache, tourism consultant Alain St Ange and general manager of Le Duc de Praslin Robert Payet.
According to principal secretary for tourism Sherin Francis, any of the ninety plus graduates are free to join the programme, while other talents will have to be recommended by hotels and tourism establishments themselves.
The Employment department and other partners such as the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) are also onboard with the programme.
Photos by Joena Meme