A new suite of third-level education programmes has been launched to encourage the retention and recruitment of talent for the tourism and hospitality sector. Recent research from Fáilte Ireland indicates that almost 1 in 4 staff employed this summer are expected to be new to the tourism industry therefore a focus on training and upskilling is central to these practical new online education programmes.
The new online education programmes will provide tourism and hospitality employees with access to third-level qualifications to upskill them and help advance their career in the sector.
Prior to COVID-19, the hospitality and tourism industry employed over 260,000 people in Ireland making it one of the largest employers and the industry with the greatest regional spread of economic activity. As tourism and hospitality was severely impacted by the pandemic, thousands of skilled workers were forced to seek employment in other sectors.
The practical, skills-focused programmes announced today have been developed by TU Dublin School of Hospitality Management & Tourism in conjunction with the Tourism and Hospitality Careers Oversight Group which is chaired by Fáilte Ireland.
The new programmes will provide Level 6 Higher Certification in Hospitality Supervisory Management and Level 9 Certification in Hospitality Management Development to those currently working in tourism and hospitality sector.
Modules for both programmes will operate as flexible, online Continuing Professional Development Programmes and have been developed by TU Dublin School of Hospitality Management & Tourism and its Human Capital Initiative industry engagement unit Convene, in collaboration with the Innovation Academy in UCD, and funded by the Human Capital Initiative.
Applications for the new programmes are open and classes will begin in late September 2021.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said:
“Investing in our existing and future tourism professionals is vital to ensuring the sustainable growth of the tourism and hospitality sector into the future. I very much welcome today’s announcement of the first and only tourism and hospitality modular programme under the Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3 - Innovation and Agility. The development of these modules by TU Dublin in collaboration with the Tourism and Hospitality Careers Oversight Group and funded by my colleagues in the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science is a fantastic example of innovation in higher education aligning with the future skills needs of the industry.”
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said:
“The Irish hospitality and tourism industry is a world leader in excellence and innovation. As we rebuild and recover after the pandemic, it will be vitally important to our communities, businesses and the broader economy. However, the past 16 months have been incredibly difficult for the sector. That’s why programmes such as these are so important.
The industry has shown great resilience, and I want to thank them for that. Now it’s time to focus on building up skills to protect staff and businesses, and to make sure new entrants are offered highest quality of training. I am convinced these Professional Development Programmes will deliver on all that and more.”
The third-level modules announced today are just one of a number of initiatives from the Careers Oversight Group that aim to address the skills and labour challenges facing the tourism and hospitality sector.
Paul Hayden, Head of Tourism Careers Fáilte Ireland, and Chair of the Tourism Careers Oversight Group said:
“With so many new recruits coming into the sector developing the skills of tourism professionals to encourage staff retention is critical to the long-term recovery of the industry. The creation of these modules is a result of positive collaboration between several organisations to address the skills needs of our industry.
This flexible and innovative approach to professional development is another step in addressing the recruitment and retention barriers that exist for the tourism and hospitality labour force.”
Dr Dominic Dillane, Head of the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, TU Dublin said:
“These new programmes have been co-designed and informed by collaborators from the hospitality and tourism industry with a view to helping people adapt and re-skill to succeed in these uncertain times. Going forward, we will be working on further initiatives to help the wider Tourism sector respond to the rapid and disruptive changes that are shaping our world are having a significant impact on whole sectors of our economy.
Prior to the pandemic, Tourism was Ireland’s largest indigenous industry. It is therefore important that higher education plays a constructive role in helping to reinvigorate this key engine of our national economy.”
Tina Maree, National Executive Officer of the Irish Hospitality Institute said:
“As the professional body for the Hospitality & Tourism Industry, the launch of these programmes today is in a direct response to industry training needs to upskill and provide Continuing Professional Development for both supervisors and managers. The modules are designed to allow students learn and work with on an online, part-time and flexible basis building credits to a full award with progression a pathway.”