The Human Resource Development Council, recently conducted tourism stakeholders workshops. The Tourism Sector Human Resource Development (HRD) Plan is to devise a roadmap for creating a skilled workforce, improving firm-level service delivery, and increasing the attractiveness of Botswana as a world-class tourist destination.
According to the well detailed HRDC study, there is a need to review the current administration of the Vocational Training Fund (BOTA) and Tourism Industry Training Fund (Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism) which both currently sit with two completely different bodies. The study also suggests that, there is need to align the training levies to the HRD Plan to ensure the effective and efficient usage of funds for the benefit of the sector.
“There is a need to build institutional skills research capacity and improve labour market diagnosis in the skills ecosystem to analyse skills imbalances and make decisions based on research evidence,” it reads. The HRDC has an important role in conducting industry skills research, gathering statistics and disseminating findings to the public. “The HRDC should also build research capacity in stakeholder bodies, particularly education institutions to track graduates. Its close contact with government agencies, industries and education institutions puts them in a good position to track skills trends, undertake national training needs studies, develop baseline labour market indicators and postulate solutions.”
The report further states that, there is a need to encourage talented young people to enter the tourism sector. “They should be informed what the sector is about; the various careers pathways that can be pursued; emerging trends; and the many benefits this sector holds for them locally and internationally.” The report also suggests that, a starting point should be to target guidance and career counsellors in secondary and tertiary institutions to promote careers in the sector.
Briefing the media about the report, Patrick Molutsi, HRDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) emphasized that “stakeholder partnerships and clusters are becoming the adopted approach to meeting sector needs for skilled workers and workers’ need for better jobs.”
He said that stakeholder partnerships are forged with industry, government agencies, education institutions, labour, and community organisations to focus on the workforce needs in an industry. “Partnerships address current and emerging occupational needs and skill gaps.
Partnerships provide a means for the HRDC and education institutions to engage directly with stakeholders across traditional boundaries better aligning training programmes and resources,” added Molutsi. He concluded that partnerships help to reduce inefficiencies and streamline state efforts by co-coordinating various projects and braiding various funding streams intended for the same purpose.