The announcement was made at a meeting with a second group of 25 Shannon graduates held at Botanical House on Thursday, November 18, to hear first-hand why less than 50% of the program’s graduates are still in the hospitality industry or the tourism sector and few of those who remain are holding management positions. Commenting that while Seychelles as a country does not lose when a graduate leaves the hospitality sector to work in another, the Minister said that this was not the intended objective of the program which risks not being met.
90 Seychellois have graduated so far from the four-year hospitality management program which includes three years at the Seychelles Tourism Academy and one final year at Shannon College in Ireland since the first students attended the Irish institution in 2012. The Minister expressed his wish to hear from the graduates their experiences in the workplace, the challenges they faced, what demoralized them and forced them to leave the industry as well as hearing their suggestions of possible solutions to reverse this situation.
The graduates highlighted a lack of development opportunities and monitoring of training programs, irregular or non-existent one-on-one sessions with supervisors and management to monitor progress and identify improvement requirements as well as a lack of engagement by mentors and the Ministry of Employment. Of those who are still in the industry, many are with the Hilton properties, a company that stood out for following through on the management training programs.
Graduates shared being passed over in favor of foreign employees when promotion opportunities presented themselves, of Seychellois supervisors perceiving them as threats to their own progress, being still on entry level packages after years of employment. Others spoke of there being no training plan, being denied opportunities to develop and not being groomed for management, driving them to leave and to work in other sectors including…