“It is our collective responsibility to ensure a brighter future for the youth because the future of the country rests on their shoulders.” – Mr. Rajesh Agarwal, Joint Secretary, MSDE
With the recent inclusion of apprenticeship in the service sector, we could see a lot of enthusiasm among the service companies especially in the hospitality industry to engage apprenticeships under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS). One of the leading institutions that have been at the forefront of apprenticeships is Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council or THSC.
It is interesting to see how the apprenticeship program has evolved over the years. After the amendment of the Apprenticeship Act, it has now been extended to the service industries as well. Once meant only for the manufacturing industry, the apprenticeship program is now widespread in other industries too – hospitality and tourism making the most out of it.
Since the hospitality industry is people-centric, the industry must build its talent pool and hence this change in the act has been wholeheartedly welcomed by all. The National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) is focused to enhance the apprenticeship program across the country in various industry sectors including the hospitality industry. Many of the industry leaders are keen to engage 10% bracket of apprenticeship.
Where can one find the apprenticeship program in the hospitality industry?
Finding an apprenticeship program in the hospitality industry is not difficult. From a star rated hotel to Quick Service Restaurant like Burger King, all are eager to offer apprenticeship programs. Many are even keen to register with the NAPS program as well. And that’s not unlikely. By registering with a program like NAPS, hotels get a provision of collaborating with basic training provider as a third-party agency. The Apprenticeship India portal is specifically being designed for candidates to find suitable apprenticeship programs under their relevant industries including hospitality and for organizations to register that offer apprenticeship programs. This is done under the NAPS scheme.
What do you need to know about the NAPS?
NAPS work in two ways – 1. Hotel picking up candidates from the ecosystem and upskilling them so that they do not need to do basic training. This is easy for hotels because being a people’s industry, most hotels have their own set of training departments where they already do on-the-job training. 2. Many hotels also want to become basic training providers where they provide basic training to prospective candidates.
The apprenticeship program at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace, South Mumbai
The iconic Taj Mahal Palace has a strong apprenticeship program for the budding enthusiasts who wish to build a career in this promising industry. The hotel offers on job training programs so that all the trainees receive a holistic experience in different aspects of hospitality including food and beverage, housekeeping, laundry, food production, and engineering. To stay focused and committed the hotel also offers remuneration to all their apprenticeships as laid down in the Apprenticeship Act.
Hemant Jaiswal, Director of Human Resources at Taj Mahal Palace hotel mentions “I feel immense pride when at the end of the training program our apprentices turn out to be confident and able youth equipped with highly sought-after skills who can be easily hired by any of the top-notch hotels in the city. We not only make them adept and employable for the industry at large but also ensure that we go on to hire most of them in our hotel. We have had many success stories with apprentices who have gone on to become star performers in our hotel rising to be Restaurant Managers and Supervisors. This is a win-win situation for both the apprentices and the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. By investing in apprenticeship programs, we have reaped the dual benefit of turning out future-ready highly skilled youth whilst giving us access to a constant pool of fresh talent molded to our specific ethos and business needs.”
It’s not only the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel that is offering an apprenticeship program. In a separate program, an MoU was signed in 2017 between The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship’s implementation arm National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council (THSC) with Airbnb to provide hospitality skills training to hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India. As per the agreement, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Airbnb, NSDC and THSC are all working together to create an accredited skill development module for hospitality entrepreneurs offering homestay facilities, unique accommodations, and local experiences.
As discussed above, hospitality is a people’s industry and without proper training and skillset recipe, it will only leave a bad taste. A strong structured training program, when implemented early through an apprenticeship program, ensures that doesn’t happen and people are well trained and qualified to move up the professional ladder.