A trend has begun in Ghana to streamline hospitality training and practice, as a foundation for the growth of the industry, to ultimately boost domestic tourism, using international best practices.
The new approach to teaching in Ghana links up what is taught in the classroom to the practice in industry setting. The competency-based training (CBT) in hospitality provides hands-on training in a specialized teaching hotel, under the Presbyterian Centre for Vocational Instructors’ Development (PRECEVID) in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital of Ghana.
PRECEVID is a training institution that builds the capacity of professionals in the hospitality industry and contributes to the growth of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Sector.” “It is mainly concerned with the transfer of skills to ensure quality outcomes. PRECEVID places premium on the teacher-trainer-instructor quality as a necessary condition to inculcate best standard practices. For far too long, people merely built structures and hired family and friends to operate a hotel. Those old ways never helped the investor, the staff nor the client
The Director of PRECEVID, Madam Linda Agyei says the Competency Based Training (CBT) promotes lifelong learning and ensures the right balance of practice and theory, in small class sizes. It is a learner-centered approach where trainees develop competencies at their own pace.
“As a response to the growing demand for professionals, PRECEVID develops tailor-made programmes for specific needs in different hotels, through upgrading programmes, to strengthen the skills and foundational levels,” says Madam Agyei.
“Since inception in 2014, PRECEVID has trained over 300 school leavers and graduates who occupy various positions in the hospitality industry, with employers testifying to their professionalism. Also, we have trained over 200 TVET teachers in the CBT method. These trainees form a critical mass of hospitality professionals and trainers to drive the national strategy for domestic tourism.”
PRECEVID’s school of hospitality develops professionals for the industry at both the operational and management levels, with unique training modeled on the hotel-school concept where training is done in the practice hotel. “This substantiates the concept of the CBT approach,” says Madam Agyei, who is passionate about proper recognition for Technical and Vocational Education and Training(TVET) as a driver of national development.
The hospitality school offers short courses for different operational areas of the hotel industry, such as Front office operations, House-keeping operations, Food and Beverage Service and Food Production.
PRECEVID is accredited by the Commission on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (C-TVET) as a CBT Centre.
It collaborates with the Kumasi Technical University to develop joint-programmes for the academic progression of trainees.
The Rosewood Cottage
The PRECEVID practice hotel, Rosewood Cottage is a facility helps deliver the CBT hospitality training in a real world as practice is done on real guests and customers. This provides opportunity for in cooperating feedbacks from customers into the training standards and also improve training curriculum.
Rosewood Cottage operates the concept of a boutique hotel where service is personalized. It has a seven acre-sized herbarium for a walk-through-nature to aid meditation and refreshment. For the purposes of giving the learners varied learning opportunities Rosewood cottage hosts events such as conferences, retreats, receptions, parties and other important ceremonies. Through this learners also build their entrepreneurial acumen and prepare themselves adequately for the world of work.
Hurdles to clear
The new approach to teaching is capital-intensive, requiring industry-standard facilities and environment for trainees to experience hands-on teaching.
The main challenge faced by students is the training fee which is quite expensive because of the number of practical demonstrations.
As a result of the high cost of training, PRECEVID has had to sometimes go into partnership with other stakeholders interested in building the capacity of new entrants into the hospitality industry and operatives seeking to sharpen their skills.
The novelty is taking a little while to be appreciated across the country, considering how hard it is for most people to stop the old ways of doing things.
Although CBT gives the candidate more industry standard training, not many proprietors and hospitality workers really appreciate the essence of professional training.
Therefore, more awareness creation is needed to make workers in the sector and their employers invest in international standard hospitality service.
There are modules for those who prefer only the practical training. However, PRECEVID encourages trainees to read more to be able to understand the theory aspect well enough, and combine it with the practice. This will enable them progress on the TVET career pathway.
PRECEVID has plans to expand and have more influence on the quality of hospitality service in the country. It is inspiring more proprietors and customers to demand professional training within the industry.
It wishes to see the day industry standards are strictly enforced in order to discourage unprofessionalism.
Ms. Agyei is inspired by the uniqueness of PRECEVID and hopes it becomes a destination for recreation and promotion of well-being through the delivery of professional hospitality services by its Rosewood Cottage and the herbarium as a recreational park promoting ecotourism.