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Greece Launches Tourism Career Week for Refugees and Migrants

In efforts to make the Greek job market inclusive, the Greek Migration and Asylum Ministry organized a Hospitality Career Week in Athens and Thessaloniki aimed at providing work for migrants and refugees.

According to the ministry, more than 350 participants had the chance to interview for some 180 positions in hotels and other tourism-related enterprises which are seeking employees for the upcoming season.

Participating in the event, organized by the inter-governmental International Organization for Migration (IOM) under its HELIOS program, were 23 hotels in Athens and 12 companies in Thessaloniki.

It should be noted that Greece is a founding member of the IOM.

Key work areas of interest included housekeeping services, cleaners, kitchen assistants and general duties.

“The considerable space for the development of jobs in tourism in Greece, as there is a great shortage of human resources in relation to the needs. So there is room for everyone – for refugees and migrants who need to work in an equal and secure environment that respects diversity,” said George Pelekanakis, president of the Panhellenic Federation of Hotel Managers (PODIX).

Deputy Migration Minister Sofia Voultepsi

In her keynote address, Deputy Migration Minister Sofia Voultepsi referred to IOM’s cooperation with the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) and its research institute INSETE towards identifying the needs in the industry.

Voultepsi stressed the importance of making training and education accessible to refugees and migrants through actions supported by the national recovery funding and EU resources. 

Additionally, she said, but equally important is fostering relationships of trust between employers and employees through the mediation of international organizations. 

In this direction, the minister announced that employment in the tourism sector was an immediate priority and that training activities are set to begin in the coming months.

Pelekanakis stressed the importance of an educational programs that would provide rapid training of refugees and immigrants for immediate employment in tourism. 

Sofia Voultepsi IOM Greece Chief Gianluca Rocco

“IOM cooperates with the government as well as with international and local organizations for the promotion of integration based on the culture and legislation of the country, creating opportunities for the benefit of local communities and local labor markets. In Greece, the migration and asylum ministry is implementing the largest integration program with IOM and other partners, demonstrating the country’s interest in an inclusive and sustainable society,” said Gianluca Rocco, chief of mission IOM Greece.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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