By Nikos Krinis
A new EU-funded project named IdEATE, that aims to improve the skills of tourism workers and thus increase the competitiveness of tourism enterprises in Europe, was presented in Athens on Friday.
Part of the European Tourism Careers initiative, the project IdEATE – Improved Employability and Apprenticeship in the Tourism Sector is designed to help main players active in the tourism field (job seekers, prospective employers and SMEs, training institutions, public authorities) to connect with each other, with the aim of facilitating the uptake of high quality jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships positions in the tourism sector across the EU.
The project was presented to the Greek media at the offices of the Athens News Agency by Silvia Barbone, Project Coordinator of Federturismo Confidustria; Alessandro Carbona, Social Innovation Director of the Academy of Entrepreneurship; Andreas Stefanidis, President of the Academy of Entrepreneurship; and Alexandros Angelopoulos, Vice President of Aldemar Resorts Group.
“The IdEATE training courses will aim to match the skills (of tourism employees) with the needs of the SMEs and fill the gap… Through the program, trainees will have the opportunity to discover which tourism sector in the EU is the most suitable for them,” Silvia Barbone, Project Coordinator of Federturismo Confidustria, said, adding that the program is part of the EU’s effort to make the tourism sector more competitive.
An 18-month project, IdEATE involves ten partners from six countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy and Spain) and aims at improving employability of Europeans aged 16-35 years by offering a package of benefits with training contents that aims at their empowerment and promoting open dialogue and cooperation among training providers, tourism SMEs and public players, in order to support young jobseekers to be more easily employable and, in the meanwhile, helping tourism SMEs and destinations to be attractive for tourists.
The sectors involved in the project include: Hospitality, Food & Beverage, Destination Management, Travel Agencies/Tour Operators, Attractions/Recreation Activities and Digital Services.
Greek hospitality needs more skilled people
On his part, Alexandros Angelopoulos, Vice President of Aldemar Resorts Group, applauded the IdEATE program and mentioned that the Greek hospitality industry is in need of more skilled workers. “We need the skilled people to do the job and we don’t have the skilled people and at the same time we have universities that fail to attract these people,” Angelopoulos said. Referring to the gaps in the Greek hotel market he pointed to Rhodes. “On Rhodes at the end of May there were 1,200 less professionals in the market… We still have positions that have not been filled yet,” he said.
IdEATE e-learning platform launches in December
In December the IdEATE project will launch its innovative online e-learning platform with courses for skilled training aimed at job seekers and employers (SMEs) in the tourism sector. Through the online platform and e-learning courses, program participants will be able to acquire high skills that are at high demand from employers, thus increasing their chances of employment in high added value jobs.
Moreover, through the platform, users will find videos with a variety of interactive learning tasks such as micro-simulations, questionnaires, discussions, study relevant resources and interactions with the content. There shall be two videos on European initiatives for jobs and six videos of testimonials and ambassadors of tourism careers.
As of December, a 6-country roadshow will kick off to introduce the the Ideate project to jobseekers and SME’s.
Alessandro Carbona, Social Innovation Director of the Academy of Entrepreneurship, said IdEATE has two main goals: the promotion of tourism careers on a European level and — “given that we have identified the necessity to give value to this career path” — a training action for jobseekers on one side and SMEs on the other side.
“The training will be through an e-learning platform which can be visited for free by both jobseekers and SMEs,” Carbona said.
For further information on the IdEATE project, press here.