Skills boost for Scotland’s hospitality sector
Scotland’s £10billion hospitality sector is set for a boost after the launch of two master’s degrees aimed at improving the skills of those already working in the industry.
The country’s first work-based master’s degrees in International Tourism and Events Management have been designed by University of the West of Scotland (UWS) to address concerns about a lack of formal training among many of the 175,000 people working in the industry.
As such, those enrolling in the new courses will be able to combine their work with their studies, with two projects to be delivered over the duration of the year-long courses relating directly to their job.
Dr Daniel Turner, senior lecturer in events and tourism at UWS, said: “Many people working in hospitality in the UK entered the industry before there were specific qualifications in this area – and these individuals can now be in very senior positions. They now find themselves contending with increasing numbers of people with degrees in related fields, especially from competing countries and regions.
“However, there is a problem in the industry in finding spare time for employees to gain qualifications and improve their skills. By delivering a work-based approach to meeting these skill gaps, we have given our tourism leaders of today and tomorrow the opportunity to bolster their skills without it having to affecting their employer or business.
He added: “Those gaining the qualification won’t just be versed in current best practice – they’ll be able to say ‘this is what the big opportunity will be in future years and this is how we take advantage of it’. This will be key to helping the events and tourism sectors in Scotland reach new heights.”
Marc Crothall, CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) said: “Strong and effective industry leadership at all levels, across all sectors is required if we are to deliver the growth ambition in Scotland’s tourism strategy. We need everyone working in the industry to step up to be a leader in their own area of expertise and qualifications such as these will help meet that aspiration.
“Scotland has to compete on the international stage and deliver quality, memorable experiences to visitors who come with each new wave of tourism – from China, the Middle East and countries closer to home.”
He added; “Opportunities are there to create ambassadors for Scottish tourism from all over the world if we get it right. Expectations are high and the STA strongly encourages initiatives that will positively assist in helping to nurture and further develop the leadership skills of our senior managers and those of our emerging talent.”
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