Swiss Hospitality & Management Academy (SHMA) of A. Baur & Co. Pvt Ltd., also known as Baurs, a leading conglomerate with diversified business interests, recently signed an MoU with the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka (VTA) under the Ministry of Education to implement its Skills for Sustainable Growth (SSG) project among selected learning centers across the country.
This partnership marks a significant milestone, following its ongoing discussions with VTA since 2019. The planning phase is already underway and SHMA is currently in the process of evaluating and selecting existing learning centers of VTA, building on their infrastructure and reach, with the aim of uplifting learning capacities and aligning the current learning content, curriculums and teaching methodologies to that of international standards.
With its first phase running from last year up until 2025, a total of 2,240 students will be trained and the lecturers at the VTA learning centers will go through a Train the Trainer program, which will enhance their teaching skills to embrace newer and practical approaches that deliver a hands-on learning experience to the students. The focus will go beyond just grasping technical skills to also include personal development and language training.
The aim of the entire SSG initiative, which is based on a public-private funding partnership, is to strengthen and match the learning standards in the country to that of the global industry, to enable fast-track routes to employability in just 9 months with the learning taking a hands-on practical approach, and to minimize or bridge the widening skills gap. The internationally aligned qualification delivered through this initiative will help various unskilled and semi-skilled young men and women in Sri Lanka including providing migrants with a skill set needed for better employment opportunities. The program is developed on a ‘Plug & Play’ basis, giving more practical and feasible learning modules and methodologies for the learner and learning center.
Site visits have already begun, with a pool of total 22 centers across 16 districts across the country, to select the most feasible centers to kickstart the SSG project. By July 2023, six centers will be selected and 240 students will see themselves equipping with the skillset required today in the world of hospitality management over a period of nine months.
The skills development project is established to align and implement a Swiss Vocational Skills Development (VSD) curriculum. The project will take a lead in bridging the skills gap, instill quality education standards, encourage female participation, and make Sri Lanka not just a most sought-after talent destination for hospitality but also one of the best tourist spots. These will undoubtedly go onto strengthen the economy further.
The Swiss Hotel Management Academy is licensed to deliver the VET (Vocational Education Training) by EHL Professional Diploma programme from the pioneer in hospitality education since 1893 with over 25,000 alumni worldwide and over 120 nationalities, École hôtelière de Lausanne. SHMA provides world class education through its VET by EHL Professional Diploma programme, available in Culinary, Food & Beverage and Hotel Operations.
The SSG hospitality certificate provides a steppingstone towards enrolling for The VET by EHL Professional Diploma programs facilitated by SHMA and awarded by École hôtelière de Lausanne EHL, world’s number one hotel management school. Recently, SHMA also partnered with Nestlé Lanka PLC, as part of its private sector synergies aimed at upskilling young and rising talent in the sector. SHMA also facilitates short course programs aimed at corporates, namely the ‘Corporate Etiquette Excellence’ for HoDs, managers, and front office staff such as PAs and those at the front-desk.
- (L-R) Baurs Director Finance Pavithra Samarasinghe, Dean of Academy SHMA Daniela Munasinghe, Minister of Education Prof. Susil Premajayantha, VTA Chairman Upali Keppitipola, Baurs CEO/MD Rolf Blaser, and Swiss Ambassador Dominik Furgler
- Seen here is a moment of the MoU signing