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Hospitality students to gain experience at local hotels

By Muath Freij - Nov 17,2014 - Last updated at Nov 17,2014

AMMAN – Tawjihi students taking hospitality courses in the vocational stream will soon have the chance to acquire practical experience in hotels under an initiative launched by the Jordan Hotel Association (JHA) on Monday. 

“We wanted to raise awareness about the importance of this kind of education and encourage students to work in this profession after they complete their studies,” JHA Chairman Michael Nazzal said at the launch ceremony, attended by representatives from the Education Ministry, hotels and schools.  

Under the initiative, hotels will be responsible for providing students with practical training and acquainting them with the facilities so that they are encouraged to enter this line of work. 

JHA General Manager Yassar Al Majali said a study conducted by the association to assess the challenges facing these students revealed a lack of projects and educational programmes to raise their awareness on the importance of the hospitality sector. 

“Most students opt for this specialisation without having the motive to work in this profession, but because of their low grades,” Majali noted. 

He added that girls can only take these courses in Aqaba schools or at private schools that teach hospitality in Amman, because the subject is not taught in schools in other governorates. 

“Classrooms cannot accommodate the large number of students, who also cannot afford to meet the expenses of this kind of education such as the cost of books, transport fees and clothes,” Majali said. 

He told The Jordan Times that all hotels will take part in this initiative, working with 26 schools in the Kingdom that provide hospitality courses.

“There are 13 hotels taking part in the first phase of the initiative, which will cover 13 schools.”

During the launch, Nazzal highlighted the importance of the tourism sector, which constitutes 14 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and directly employs 48,000 people.  

“Jordan houses 28,000 tourist sites,” he said, adding that there are 329 hotels, 978 restaurants, 837 tourism offices, 1,200 tour guides and 372 souvenir stores in the country. 

“One million job opportunities will be available in the next decade, according to a 10-year plan currently being prepared by the Ministry of Planning. At least 200,000 job opportunities should be allocated to the tourism sector,” Nazzal said. 

“After the hospitality students finish their education, they usually go to the Gulf states because the hotel sector is growing rapidly there,” he noted.

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