Online training for tourism workers to help mitigate effects of COVID-19: minister

More than 1,500 Fijians who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the tourism industry will have an opportunity to learn new skills and enhance productivity with the launch of the micro-credentials online course on Wednesday to mitigate the effects of unemployment.

Fiji’s Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya said at the launching ceremony of the program that online education is likely to become permanent as more services like learning opportunities move to this platform.

“With the right resources and opportunities, businesses are willing to invest in their workers and this is why partnership between industry, governments and development partners is critical,” Koya said.

He added that the main objective of this partnership is to provide relevant training opportunities to Pacific tourism and the hospitality industry in the countries such as Fiji, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The minister said that all these countries have been tremendously affected by the pandemic as their tourism markets are empty without any visitors allowed into the countries.

“As we use this time and opportunity to up-skill employees, the Fijian government is also working hard to improve the business environment. For those interested in starting a business, you can get all the information on,” Koya said.

This core-curriculum designed for the tourism workers is a forward-looking initiative by the organizations such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) and the Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association (FHTA).

UNDP Resident Representative Levan Bouadze said that this unusual time of COVID-19 poses challenges which are not just unpredictable but also beyond anyone’s comprehension and therefore needs the best response to this situation.

“The tourism sector has particularly become vulnerable in the region in some of the nations in the Pacific in particular Fiji, Vanuatu and Cook Islands which have been affected significantly,” Bouadze said.

“We are pleased to be engaging with key-partners to empower and build the resilience of Pacific island people with meaningful opportunities to overcome the adverse socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.”

This program will have the trainees acquire skill sets, motivate them to find new jobs and start new ventures in order to support their livelihoods. Enditem

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