I imagine Ghana working with a complete set of National Competency Standards for Hospitality; with General Units to support the attainment of competencies in at least three functional areas; food and beverage service, hotel front office and housekeeping operations.
Not yet; it’s a dream!
So where should one start from?
To clean its own house, the Ghana Hoteliers Association (GHA) came up with a guideline of service standards to equip its members towards ‘maintaining quality control and quality assurance processes and to facilitate and simplify training of staff’. The manual, titled: “Operational and Service Standards for Tourists Accommodation Enterprises in Ghana” has not yet been adopted on a national level; it has been four years since it was first published. A lot went into the development of this manual. Just wondering…was this work done in futility?
By the way, between these two ‘bodies’; the GTA(Ghana Tourist Authority) and the GSA(Ghana Standards Authority), who has the mandate to set standards for hotels(tourist accommodation enterprises)?Are roles changing or are we seeing duplication of functions?
A huge problem facing us is the lack of connection between the skills needed in the workplace/industry and the skills imparted through education and training. In countries where this industry is taken more seriously than we have and still do, there is a deliberate call to action to close the skills gap between what employers need and the workforce they have/intend to have.
By identifying the levels needed to successfully perform a given job, standards of performance arise which can be tailored to the industry. This would then form a basis for skills/competencies to be imparted through education and training. Who should be leading this?
Industry may need to take the lead and/or be heavily involved in setting competency standards. In today’s workplaces, the only constant is change. Jobs that once were relatively simple now require high-performance work processes and enhanced skills.
There is much going on in the hotel industry globally and the gap between us here and the rest of the hotel world is widening every day. Here in Ghana, the expectations that many employers in hotels hold of their employees are not necessarily high, yet it is observed that too many personnel falter on the job and subsequently receive the brunt of their customers. In many hotels it is not uncommon to see the wrong tools or equipment used for a variety of jobs. The job gets done, but not as quickly, not as clean/neat and not as much; productivity is low. This has a ‘snow ball’ effect, resulting in frustrating all parties; the customer, the service personnel and the employer.
Could a Professional body take the lead in bridging the gap?
An upcoming conference being organized by the Institute of Hospitality(IH), Ghana Chapter in November(2018) has as its theme ‘Creativity and Transformation in Hospitality & Tourism Education: Collaboration with Stakeholders’. I find the sub-topics quite exciting and ‘revolutionary’ and wandering if this could be yet another opportunity for the industry to reorient itself and get back on its feet (we seem to have missed too many opportunities over the years)!
National recognition of skill standards in career fields provides a common basis for certifying achievement against those standards, thereby allowing for the portability of skills across geographic areas, companies and careers. There is so much to do on both fronts; education and industry.
How can you help?