Catherine Afeku, Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture
Tourism Minister, Mrs. Catherine Abelema Afeku, has re-opened the Hotel, Catering and Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT) as part of strategies to revamp the facility to drive in more trainees.
The Minister, also called on HOTCATT’s governing board to consider renaming the Institute as part of the ‘rebirth agenda’ for Cabinet’s approval.
Operating as an agency under the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture (MoTAC), HOTCATT was established in 1990 to upgrade the skills and competence of all levels of personnel in the hotel, catering and tourism sector but has, for many years, remained dormant in meeting total expectations in transforming the country’s skills requirement in the hotel and hospitality sector.
“What we have rehabilitated is the beginning of a model that can be replicated across the country to offer robust training opportunities and skills training to individuals who wish to work in the industry” Afeku said.
The agenda, she explained, is to bring extra expertise into the Institute’s training programmes in order to meet its expectations and targets, for which it was established 28 years ago.
As part of activities to make the Institute vibrant, MoTAC will provide policy direction, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), will provide the marketing and promotion strategies and a private partner, Zaddington will provide the school with curricula, tutors, hotel management and experts while the Educational Ministry is expected to provide certification to trainees.
“Some of the immediate enrolment will focus on customer service, front desk operations, tour guides, concierge services etc. Refresher training will also be available to students and professionals particularly to enterprises that contribute to the one percent tourism levy”, Afeku noted.
The Ministry, Afeku disclosed, is in the process of replicating same training model in other regions with impending collaborations with a private school in the Eastern Region.
“We have also received an expression of interest from a school in the Western Region seeking to fashion out a relationship on this model with the Ministry,” she disclosed.
In 2009, the Ministry of Tourism, handed over the Institute to GIMPA as part of plans to enhance its effectiveness, with explanations that, “the integration was due to HOTCATT’s inability to respond to the need for quality training in the tourism industry.”
That alliance between the two institutions, later failed due to some unexplained reasons.
Currently, HOTCATT offers courses in Housekeeping skills, Food and Beverage skills, Kitchen skills, Tour guiding skills, First Aid training, introduction to industry and Professional Leadership Courses.