The current intake into courses offered by the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) has also seen the admission of 16 carefully selected students for a hotel management course, which STA offers in conjunction with the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland. This academic cooperation has been going on for some time now and already second and third year students are training towards their final goal to attain diplomas in hotel management before deploying into the work place.
Notably, the Seychelles private sector was a key participant in the selection of the new students for the course, as key hoteliers drawn from the archipelago’s resorts and hotels participated not only in the main selection but gave the final thumbs up for those students selected for the course. One source from the hospitality industry in Mahe wrote back to this correspondent upon making an inquiry: “Attitude was a key criterion for the selection. Where candidates came out even on the academic appraisals, we were then looking at their attitudes towards service, and this helped to find the right breed of students for these courses. After all, they are our hope in the future to gradually take over middle management positions, and after further training, they can then become managers and senior managers.”
In total, some 300 new students were admitted for this academic year, several of whom will now also participate in a four-year apprenticeship scheme, which offers training both in the classroom, as well as in the work place for such diverse subjects as food production, food and beverage service, housekeeping, and front office operations.
The institution presently has over a thousand students on campus and on in-service training deployment, and further capacity boosts are expected in the coming years in line with the affirmative action program by government to train up more Seychellois citizens and give them the skills to work in hotels, resorts, and guest houses across the islands, allowing for the gradual replacement of foreign workers in a large number of jobs presently held by them.