Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Pathways to Professionalism continues to Grow and Enhance Service Standards at Jordan’s Hotels

5 Nov 2019

Under the Patronage of H.E. Majd Shweikeh, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, a ceremony was held today to celebrate the growth of Pathways to Professionalism, a professional industry-based training and certification program that enables employees at Jordan’s hotels to improve their skills and meet the growing demand for qualified workers.

Nearly 300 staff from hotels in Amman, the Dead Sea, and Petra have completed the training and were certified today. The five-star St. Regis Amman Hotel is the latest property to adopt Pathways to Professionalism, bringing the total number of participating hotels to 32. The program is now recognized by the International Hotel and Restaurant Association through the Jordan Hotels Association’s membership. The USAID Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project (BEST) supported development and implementation of Pathways to Professionalism.

With today’s graduates, the program has certified more than 1,000 staff and trained 500 supervisors within registered hotels. Senior representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan Hotels Association, USAID and the Pathways Advisory Committee awarded the certificates.

Mr. Vatché Yergatian, General Manager of Jordan Hotels Association, said, “As the hospitality industry is expanding, new hotels are opening and new job opportunities are being created; 20,000 trained entry-level staff are needed by 2022.” He added, “The JHA is committed to supporting its members by initiating clearly identified sustainable training and professionalization of this industry to develop new solutions that support hotel staff within the kitchen, food and beverage service, housekeeping, front office and concierge departments. Pathways to Professionalism is one of the many deliverables in the works. In the past year, the Jordan Hotels Association in partnership with USAID BEST has been working on this framework to pioneer the development of the hotel sector and improve service standards to be distinguished as a leader of creativity and innovation within the tourism community.”

Daniel Swift, Director of the Office of Economic Development and Energy at USAID’s mission in Jordan, said, “A qualified workforce in Jordan’s hotels reflects positively on the visitor experience and contributes to transforming Jordan into a world-class tourist destination. USAID is committed to helping Jordan’s youth gain the skills they need for fruitful employment to accelerate broad based, inclusive, economic growth in Jordan.”

USAID launched Pathways to Professionalism in 2016 in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The Jordan Hotels Association took over management of the program in April 2019. The program offers on-the-job training for hotel employees in five professions: food production, housekeeping, food and beverage service, concierge and front office. It offers four levels of training, from entry-level (for those who have no experience in hospitality work) to Level 4 for management staff. Pathways to Professionalism seeks to enhance qualifications of hotel staff and improve service quality and standards in hotels.