Currently, the UAE’s tourism and hospitality industry is suffering from skills gaps. This implies that the current workforce are lacking the desired level of skill sets to deliver optimum performance. This is a serious concern as the industry accounts for one-in-nine jobs.
In an attempt to address the critical issues, key industry professionals, government officials and academics will gather this week to debate the findings of a Workforce Planning Study that has identified a number of skills gaps within the tourism and hospitality sector.
Following are the key findings revealed by the Workforce Planning Study as it applies to the tourism and hospitality industry:
- Corporates are having difficulty finding suitable candidates for junior positions
- Overall, Customer Relationship Management, Event Management, and Food & Beverage Management skills have the highest demand
- Hotel Management, Facilities Management and Customer Relationship Management skills are lacking in senior level employees
- Facilities, Food & Beverage and Events Management skills are lacking in mid-level employees
- Entry-level employees lacked Customer Relationship Management skills. Additionally, there is a growing demand for Hotel management skills for the entry-level positions.
- Within the Levant, students favour a degree in Tourism and Hospitality. Within the GCC and sub-continent specifically, Banking, Finance and IT remain the top choice for students.
In addition, the Study also presented a number of remedial recommendations.
“More than 383,000 jobs were supported by the travel and tourism industry last year, and that number is expected to grow by a further 2.6% this year. The demand for skilled workers has never been higher and we feel it is our role, as a home for the region’s education and training institutes, to facilitate a more coordinated approach between academia and industry.
The findings of the study will enable our academic partners and training institutes to tailor their education offerings to the demands of local industry. This is a smart approach to education – and one that ties back to the government’s wider vision of developing a knowledge-based economy.” — Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Village