Protea Hotels Uganda to train future hoteliers
Protea Hotels Uganda and the Makerere University’s Business Faculty are signing a historic agreement today (Thursday, May 10) to train the next generation of world-class hoteliers and hospitality industry managers, who will together work towards growing East Africa’s tourism revenue in years to come. The agreement sees Protea Hotels becoming the sole provider of experiential training for the University’s Department of Leisure and Hospitality students; a move that has the blessing of Uganda’s Tourism Minister, the Honourable Professor Ebrahim Kamuntu.
Protea Hotels Uganda MD Stuart Cook said the lack of practical skills demonstrated by tertiary institution graduates had for a long time been of extreme concern to the hospitality industry in Uganda, and until now there had been no practical solution to the dearth of on-the-job experience demonstrated by employment-seekers.
“Protea Hotels Uganda sees this as the first step in raising the skills bar within the hospitality industry in Uganda. We believe that Protea Hotels, Africa’s largest hotel group with a footprint of more than 130 properties throughout eight African countries, has a responsibility to prepare the hoteliers of tomorrow to lead the hospitality industry with excellence. This is what they will learn from the company’s service culture that demands nothing less from its STAFF,” Cook said.
“The face of the tourism sector in Uganda is changing rapidly and the President, with his foresight, has provided the sector with its own Ministry to take us into the future and we hope that this Public Private partnership will be a catalyst for other such joint ventures down the line.”
Protea Hospitality Group CEO Arthur Gillis said training had for more than two decades been a core function of the company.
“In South Africa we run a two-pronged 3-year diploma course in hotel management or in professional cookery. There is also the Protea Hotels Institute for Professional Development (PHIPD), which runs 24 portable short courses throughout Africa every year that cover all aspects of the business from marketing, finance and HR to computer skills and quality management,” Gillis said. “But the one we are most excited about is the roll-out two months ago of African hospitality’s first broad-based e-learning platform, that will give our 15 000 STAFF on the continent access to a range of online training courses developed exclusively for them.”
The agreement between Protea Hotels Uganda and Makerere University includes the following undertakings:
- Offer regular guest lectures and sensitisation visits to the MUBS students from the Leisure and Hospitality Management Department.
- Offer training to at least 30 second-year students, in every academic year, upon the students passing the field attachment interviews.
- Provide practical training and facilitation to Mubs graduates from the Leisure and Hospitality Management Department.