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Better workers build tourist sector


HA NOI — A project to develop human resources in the tourism sector has contributed greatly to improving the quality of workers in the industry, and these workers are playing a major role in realising the goals and maintaining the industry’s development momentum, said Nguyen Van Luu, Director of the Personnel Department at Viet Nam Administration of Tourism.

He was speaking at a ceremony earlier this week when the programme, the EU-funded Viet Nam Human Resources Development in Tourism Project, handed over equipment to eight tourism schools and 15 provincial departments.

The country’s tourism sector has also called on assistance from international organisations as one of the measures to further boost the industry locally.

At the ceremony, the project’s management board announced its plans for 2006. These included 70 additional training courses to be presented in both English and Vietnamese, and providing 15 other provincial tourism departments with equipment.

The new courses are expected to start in May and will focus on six occupations, namely hotel security, travel operation, tour guiding, Western food preparation, bakery/pastry and computerised research systems for hotels.

EU Project Co-director Mr. Josef van Doorn said the project, learning from experiences gained during previous tourism-worker training projects in Viet Nam, has selected experienced tourism officials or workers as trainees.

"At the end of the course, trainees are completely able to make a contribution to train staff at their companies," he said.

"I think the most effective method for developing the tourism sector is to combine two kinds of human resources training: on-the-job training and at State schools."

Tran Nu Ngoc Anh, a lecturer in the Ha Noi Open University’s Faculty of Tourism, was among the 19 trainers that participated in the "Trainer Development Programme for Food & Beverage Services" organised last year.

It was one of the first three programmes the Project has implemented since May, 2005.

Her eight-day course was aimed at trainees selected from tourism units in the north, including the Sofitel Metropole, Sofitel Plaza, Hilton and Hoa Binh hotels in Ha Noi, the Harbor View hotel in the port city of Hai Phong, the Sai Gon Plaza Ha Long, and the training schools of the Ha Noi Open University and the Ha Noi Tourism College.

"I was able to find the best teaching measures that combined both practical and theoretical training for my students," Anh said.

The Trainer Development Programme was designed to improve the quality of on-the-job training and, accordingly, staff performance in the workplace, said Vu Quoc Tri, the project’s co-director.

"Targeting experienced supervisors, managers and teachers who are currently responsible for entry-level training in the tourism sector and at institutes, the programme will help raise the performance standards of trainers," he said.

So far, 240 tourism workers nationwide have been trained by international experts in housekeeping, front office and food & beverage services.

The project, representing a 12 million euros (US$14.3 million) investment, was implemented by the Viet Nam Administration of Tourism.

Its objectives are to upgrade the standard and quality of human resources in the country’s tourism industry, and to enable the Government and industry to sustain the quality and quantity of training upon its completion. — VNS

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