The Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX) announced that it had joined forces with the University of West Attica as part of ongoing efforts to upgrade tourism and hospitality education and increase job opportunities in the sector.
Last week, during a special ceremony at the university, the two parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this direction which aims to introduce principles of entrepreneurship as well as sector-specific know-how so that students attain qualifications in high demand in the labor market.
In a Q&A session with students that followed, POX President Grigoris Tasios referred to the importance in tourism of certain skills such as fluent knowledge of languages and a desire to work in the field as well as to qualifications currently lacking.
The initiative comes after a similar action with grade school children launched earlier this month dubbed “Philoxenia Mou” (My Hospitality).
“As strange as it may seem, there is a lack of skills in all positions of the organization chart in terms of unit staff. From the chamber maid to high-ranking executives who can become hotel managers or heads of a department. Skills are needed, foreign languages are needed, people who love what they do and support Greek hospitality are needed,” said Tasios.
He went on to add that future actions under the MoU include hands-on educational opportunities and internships at destinations across Greece.
“We have been trying to monitor the needs of the labor market as systematically as possible, to record the areas which we believe need interventions and initiatives, and particularly following the staff shortages in tourism, but mainly also working to match required skills with those in demand, an European index in which Greece is ranked last,” said Konstantinos Marinakos, assistant professor, Tourism Department, University of West Attica, and president of the Arcadia Hotels Association.