Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Hospitality students learn about career opportunities in the sector

8 Apr 2019

An industry internship program continues to be piloted at the Amman Baptist School for high school students taking the hospitality stream Fundukia program. This being implemented by the school, the industry and USAID BEST for the second year. Students enrolled in Fundukia undergo a 24-week internship at hotels in Amman alongside their studies, which entails one day a week of work experience in addition to three fulltime months in the summer.

As part of the internship program, an awareness session took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Amman for the students and their parents, bringing together industry representatives from the Crowne Plaza, International Hotels Group and the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts to speak to students about the learning and career opportunities that tourism and hospitality and providing career planning guidelines.

“Aside from engineering or medicine, the options for our hospitality students are better than most,” said ABS University Councilor Mira Smeirat. She explained, “Whether it’s studying business, communication, creative arts, design, hotel management, humanities, languages, or media, there are numerous higher education programs that lead back to the hospitality and tourism sector and all that’s needed is for parents and students to look ahead, plan well and work hard.”

With the sector facing a significant labor shortage of over 25,000 employees for the hotel industry alone, with hundreds of those jobs being management and supervisory roles, the opportunities for fruitful careers in tourism are real. There are 36 Jordanian colleges, technical institutions and universities that supply tourism and hospitality graduates, while other graduates return to Jordan after completing studies abroad in Europe and North America.

“This is the second year I’ve attended one of these induction sessions, and I’m happy to see the support there is for hospitality,” Said Majida Halasseh, mother of one of the Amman Baptist School’s students who attended. “I work in the sector and it is my passion, but I never had the academic opportunities my daughter now has. My husband and I support her as best as we can academically and practically, and hopefully she will have a good future in this business and take advantage of the possibilities we did not have at her age,” said Majida.

USAID BEST continues to support educational institutions that offer tourism-related studies to enhance their programs and encourage more students to choose careers in tourism and hospitality.