Rwanda Hoteliers have called upon the Workforce Development Authority to step up their training in the hospitality sector to equip staff already in the workplace with better skills and sensitize them to the needs of customer care, according to information received from Kigali yesterday. WDA is presently constructing a training facility for courses in hotel management and hospitality and has sent nearly a dozen trainers to Switzerland to acquire additional abilities then to be shared with colleagues and taught to students upon their return.
WDA presently has 12 trainers available in Rwanda with 11 more presently studying in Switzerland, but sections of the hotel industry feel that number needs increasing if the demand for courses is to be met. WDA says they have trained over 800 staff in Kigali and upcountry so far but it is clear that can only be a start. Many workers in the hotel industry and in restaurants are not formally trained and then there are new hotels and lodges coming up all the time. Therefore existing staff must be given a chance to acquire proper skills and get their certificates and diplomas and those joining the industry should have to train before entering the workplaces. It is not the big hotels, they have their own training programmes to complement what is there, but it is the lot of smaller hotels which employ staff lacking certain skills. RDB has done a great deal to promote training and if tourism continues to grow like in past years we really need to do much more training now than before. We compete with our neighbours and service standards there are high, and we need to match that, and do better a regular source from the hospitality industry in Kigali said in a mail on this subject.
RDBs Rica Rwigamba, head of the department for tourism and conservation, has in the past repeatedly spoken out on the need to train staff and during last year’s function awarding star ratings to a number of hotels and safari lodges also reiterated that those hotels, lodges and restaurants with poor services could be named and shamed if they do not train their staff and improve their skills.