BAHRAIN’S Labour Fund has signed a BD3.2 million ($8.48 million) contract with Baisan Institute for Hospitality Management (BIHM) to fund the training of more than 1,800 Bahrainis in diverse fields of the hospitality sector.
The agreement was signed by Abdulellah Ebrahim Al Qassimi, acting chief executive of the Labour Fund, and Qutub Abbas Dadabhai, chairman of the Board of Directors of BIHM.
The signing ceremony was held at the Bahrain Hotels Company premises at the Gulf Hotel and was also attended by Aqeel Raees, chairman of the Specific Council for Vocational Training – Hospitality Sector, and Dr. Ahmed Abdul Ghani Al Shaikh, vice-president of the Human Capital Development at the Labour Fund.
“The hospitality sector is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the Kingdom and has been identified by the Labour Fund as having a real need for qualified and professional Bahraini staff and the potential to offer sustainable employment,” said Al Qassimi. “There is increased demand for hospitality staff not only in upcoming hotel and resort projects but also in new projects such as the growing catering sector, new fast-food outlets, restaurants, commissaries, supermarkets, bakeries and entertainment,” he added.
This initiative by the Labour Fund encompasses training for all job levels of the sector. There will be 1,500 trainees for diverse entry-level positions, 300 middle-level positions and 50 are planned to take a BSc. in hospitality management aimed to assume high positions in the sector.
Moreover, the initiative will also entail sponsoring 20 participants currently working in the human resources departments of the hospitality sector to complete their professional qualifications in Human Resource Management. The training programmes will be delivered based upon internationally recognized curriculum from the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association EI-AHLA) and Northwood University in the USA. The duration of this project will span five years and will offer 6 to 48-month long programmes.
Dadabhai told news reporters that the agreement will help to place Bahrain in the forefront of hospitality education in the Gulf. “With BIHM’s track record in providing employment through the training programmes, BIHM has built an excellent rapport with all major companies in this sector and looks forward to serving them by providing the right Bahrainis to fill up the positions. BIHM looks forward to meet the tremendous demand for well-trained Bahrainis in this sector by working together with these companies,” he said. “The fact that 90 per cent of businesses operating in the hospitality sector are franchises provides immense employment opportunities and career growth for nationals and exposure to best practice.”
Dr Ahmad A.Ghani Al Shaikh reiterated that Labour Fund’s training programmes are open to all eligible Bahraini nationals aim to provide the right learning environment to make Bahraini nationals the employees of choice for this sector and other major sectors as well.