The tourism sector needs to double the number of its employees in order to meet the market’s needs, while the Ministry of Tourism is targeting to increase tourism flows to reach 12 million tourists by the end of 2015 and20 million by 2020, according to Minister of Tourism’s advisor, Hussein Badran.
The tourism sector has lost from 40% to 50% of its labour force during the past four years due to the sector’s recession over the last four years. Most of the well trained labour force is well oriented to Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan due to provided opportunities and higher salaries, while others had to seek opportunities in other sectors, Bardan said.
He further added that according to latest estimations in 2010, the tourism sector’s labour force is estimated to have 4 million individual of which about 2 million are direct employees and 2 million are indirect employees, noting that it’s difficult to return the expiated labour. What we need now is to train new employees and refine the existing labour skills, he noted
As a result, the government has established numerous training centres and launched many training programmes with about EGP 30m to EGP 40m by the Ministry of Tourism, according to Badran.
One of these centres is the Road Safety Training Center (RSTC) located in 15th of May City, which is affiliated of the Egyptian Federation of the Chambers of Tourism and is considered the biggest centre in the Middle East.
To date, RSTC has trained 15,000 drivers since its inauguration in 2012 but it was not operating with full capacity, although it targeted the training of 15,000 to 20,000 drivers annually, Badran said.
In addition, Badran elaborated that there is a Culinary Training Centre located in 6th of October City, which is internationally accredited from the English Institute, City and Guilds. This centre has trained 700 cooks since its inauguration in 2011 and targeted the training of 200 to 250 cooks annually.
The training period on the latest cooking methods, fire fighting and food security in the culinary centre is six months, to rehabilitate them to work in hotels, restaurants and industrial institutions, Badran added.
He further stressed on the availability of many training programmes in the Human Resources Development Unit at the Egyptian Tourism Federation,providing training in all touristic domains such as hospitality training programmes, and sales of touristic goods, Badran noted.
While 97% of the workers in the Red Sea and Sinai regions come from other governorates, the federation provides training programmes in 12 governorates. To date, 250,000 individuals have been trained while the Ministry targets to train 30,000 workers annually.
For his part, Head of the Syndicate for Tourism and Hotels Workers, Bassem Halaka, affirmed the existence of three training centres providing many programmes in all touristic domains – a centre affiliated of the syndicate, another at the Chambers of Tourism Federation and one affiliated from the ministry.
Regarding the syndicate’s training centre, Halaka said that it provides short period training programmes, only one week long. These programmes are offered for free to new graduates and syndicates’ members, signalling that to date that 27% of the members have received training.
Tourism is a key sector for the Egyptian economic recovery, as it has realised revenues amounted by $ 5.1bn over the last fiscal year (FY) 2013/2014, whereas the government targets to reach revenues of $ 10bn by the end of the current FY 2014/2015.
However, tourism sector revenues has reached $ 5.5bn by the end of third quarter (Q3) of the current FY, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) latest report.