The British Council in Azerbaijan in partnership with the State Vocational Agency under the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the five-star hotels of Azerbaijan has successfully piloted an apprenticeship model for the hospitality sector. Even before the graduation of the one-year pilot programme, many of the participants have already received job offers. The programme has been successfully completed and the graduates of the programme awarded certificates.
The certificate ceremony of the programme took place on 19 June, at the Baku State Vocational Education Centre on Tourism and Social Services. The event was attended by Elizabeth White, the Country Director of the British Council in Azerbaijan, Famil Mustafayev, Director of the State Vocational Education Agency, Fikret Nabiyev, Director of Baku State Training Centre for Tourism and Social Services, General Managers of partner hotels, trainers and students.
The programme was set up within the Baku State Training Centre for Tourism and Social Services and covered three specialities - chef, hotel concierge and housekeeping attendant. Programme participants took part in a one-year intensive study programme taught by the trainers working in the hotel industry who in their turn had been trained by People 1st, a leading UK organisation specialising in hospitality development.
The Access to Hospitality and Apprenticeship Scheme was introduced in summer 2016 in a three-way partnership between the British Council, the State Vocational Education Agency and the leading five-star hotels of Baku. Within the programme, new curricula for vocational training for the three specialities was developed by the UK experts People 1st.
Apprenticeship is a vital part of the sector’s ongoing development. The key players of the sector in Azerbaijan - the leading hotels supported the programme during the academic year: Absheron Hotels Group, JW Marriott, Four Seasons, Hyatt Regency, Fairmont, Hilton, Pullman, and Gilan Tourism. All the hotels were happy to accept apprentices from the one-year training course for regular ongoing workplace training, and the students named this as an extremely valuable and motivating element of the training
Azerbaijan now has a pool of trained, highly-motivated trainers, as well as a large number of trainees and apprentices in the programme now beginning to make their careers in hospitality. The programme is planned to be cascaded to other vocational centres focusing on tourism in Baku and regions of Azerbaijan as per the agreement with the State VET Agency and hotels of Azerbaijan.
The British Council in Azerbaijan thanks the State Vocational Agency and all the partner hotels of the programme.
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