Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s largest hotel company, has launched a training program intended to provide youngsters from underprivileged homes with career opportunities within the group.
Entitled “4 C’s: Centara Career Creation for Children,” the program is a five-month course in which the students undergo classroom and practical training in the areas of kitchen, food and beverage, and housekeeping.
Those who gain the certificate for successful completion will be given the opportunity to become full-time employees at Centara properties.
“This project is intended for children who graduate from the public welfare schools at grade 12 but do not have sufficient financial support to continue their education at university level,” said Gerd Steeb, president of Centara Hotels & Resorts.
He continued: “In setting up the course, we have visited welfare schools in many provinces in Thailand to have discussions with teachers and students.
“We have found there are many instances where there is pressure on students to discontinue their education and get whatever work they can to help support their families. Many of them are lured into improper activities.
“Centara has, therefore, launched this project to give young people an opportunity to develop themselves in terms of knowledge and skills in a hospitality career and simultaneously earn a living.”
Centara is working on the program together with the Department of Skill Development at the Ministry of Labor, which is presenting some financial support.
During the training period, students are given a daily allowance, a uniform, three meals, and accommodation.
Centara has many properties in all the main destinations in Thailand, including Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Samui, Hua Hin, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Tak, and Krabi. Many of the properties are experiencing a shortage of skilled labor, and, therefore, this project is also expected to expand Centara’s workforce base in the long-term.
The courses are arranged by a team of Centara representatives visiting selected schools and in cooperation with the teaching staff conducting hotel career advice sessions for the grade 12 students who are graduating.
Interviews with potential students are then conducted on the same day as the advice session to select those who are eligible and who show a readiness and willingness to work in hospitality industry.
“The training program is arranged in different areas of operations, including food and beverage, housekeeping, kitchen, stewarding, and gardening,” said Ms. Pattara Jongcharoenkulchai, Vice President for Human Resources at Centara Hotels & Resorts. “During the program, the trainees are provided with a mentor who can monitor and guide them in the proper direction.
“The head of human resources at each of the properties will also keep in continual contact to ensure they are well-looked after throughout the program.”
The first batch of students, 117 in total, has recently begun on the first training program.