With 65 per cent of its population below 35 years of age, India presents a great opportunity for countries with ageing or declining populations to harness its workforce. But a skill gap has been found which requires to be addressed, even in the hospitality industry.
To close this gap, the Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC) and India International Skill Centre (IISC) Network are working to collaborate with government agencies and businesses in India and abroad as well as training institutes such as hospitality colleges.
The vision of the THSC is to create a robust, industry-aligned ecosystem by promoting skill development in the hospitality and tourism sector in a way that promotes respectable employment opportunities. The IISC, through the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), fosters private sector initiatives in skill development programmes and provides funding to upgrade skills to international standards.
As a non-profit organisation, the THSC includes representatives of the government, industry, industry associations and training institutes, and caters to all sub-sectors of the hospitality and tourism industries.
The organisation offers affiliation with culinary institutes and skills centres to ascertain the exact number of training institutes, numbers of students enrolled per job per centre and map each centre to fulfil industry requirements. They also physically inspect each centre and award affiliation only if it is up to standard.
Backed by the NSDC, the India International Skill Centres are working towards transforming the country into the skill capital of the world. Partnerships are being developed with Japan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Australia, Finland, Morocco, Sweden, Russia, Jordan, the Maldives and others.
The centres provide career counselling and guidance support for international training and employment opportunities, skill testing as per standards aligned to global market needs to ensure placement of candidates, upskilling for experienced candidates who may have skill gaps and language training. IISCs will also be provided with opportunities to implement government-to-government and business-to-business initiatives.
To assist with potential migration, students at the skills centres will also receive pre-departure orientation training with regard to language, culture, emigration processes and welfare measures.
In January this year, the THSC and NSDC held the five-day IndiaSkills National Competition at which more than 500 participants from 26 states and union territories competed to win awards. The THSC conducted competitions for five skills including patisserie and confectionery, cooking, bakery, hotel reception and restaurant, with the winners receiving the chance to undergo best-in-class industry training ahead of the WorldSkills International Competition scheduled in Shanghai, China in October this year.
All of these initiatives work to ensure candidates are in the best position to adjust to new professional roles in countries across the world, enabling them to stay longer in their jobs and advance more easily.
Kamaxi runs three skills centres in India – at Verna in Goa, at Cochin in Kerala and at Jaipur in Rajasthan. These have been evaluated to match the superior standards set by Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts in facilities, amenities and training material, while also meeting requirements laid down by the THSC and NSDC.
These centres offer an enriching international culinary programme for those looking at taking up commis chef positions anywhere in the world. In collaboration with Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts, the six-month on-campus course offers rigorous training in culinary skills as well as fundamental soft skills.
Students receive certification from the THSC following a year-long monitored internship at a reputed starred hotel in India and through partnerships with numerous cruise ship companies and hospitality brands, offer international placements.