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Mumbai - In a significant initiative for skill development in Bharatiya hospitality undertaken by industry body CII, an 18-month Vocational Education and Training (VET) Professional Diploma program by the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne/EHL Education Group of Switzerland will be delivered at four ITC Hotels across the country.

A total of 200 students who have passed 12 th standard in school will be enrolled in the first batch across four luxury properties including ITC Maurya (New Delhi), ITC Sonar and ITC Royal Bengal (Kolkata), ITC Maratha (Mumbai) and ITC Grand Chola (Chennai), with 50 students being taught at each hotel. CII has assured 100% placement to students upon successful completion of the VET by EHL Swiss Professional Diploma program that is recognized by all major hospitality chains worldwide.

Said Sougata Roy Choudhury, Executive Director, CII: “At CII, we intend to address the need of the Bharatiya hospitality industry for skilled, globally benchmarked talent. Hence this partnership with the 127-year-old EHL Group, which is ranked as the No. 1 hospitality and leisure management school in the world. We also wanted to partner with stalwarts of Bharatiya hospitality to impart training to students as part of this program, and ITC Hotels was the natural choice. Bharat has not only a sizable youth population conversant with English, but also exponentially growing accommodation offerings across tourist destinations in the country.”

He added: “The current demand-supply gap of trained workforce in Bharatiya hospitality sector is at a shortfall of about 80%. Hospitality employers find the workforce being supplied below the industry's high expectations. There is a definite need in India for globally recognized vocational training that can create a pool of talented hospitality professionals. The VET by EHL program will bridge the skill gap and strengthen Bharat's position as the global hospitality workforce supplier of choice. It will train the youth to world-class standards for careers in the hospitality industry, including hotels, airlines, cruise-lines, catering and travel industry, not only in Bharat but around the world. The program is a unique training model in partnership with the industry, delivered at industry premises and facilitated by industry experts, to prepare the youth for quality employment within the industry. Nothing like this exists in Bharat currently.”

The VET by EHL Swiss Professional Diploma program, including training, will be delivered at ITC Hotels by the best of industry experts as faculty. Said Nilesh Mitra, Vice President, Talent Management, ITC Hotels: “We have an excellent faculty for this program. At ITC Hotels we consistently upgrade the training skill set and integrate new learnings to the modules. Our faculty at each ITC Hotel has been trained and certified by VET by EHL and CII. They bring with them immense experience and knowledge. Moreover, students will be able to learn through interactions with guests in real work settings at ITC Hotels. The Program will allow us to strengthen our talent pipeline as we continue to expand our presence in the country. We intend to add more hotels to this Program in 2022.”

He added: “This program provides students a splendid opportunity to skill and reskill themselves with an international curriculum closer to home and contribute to the immense hospitality and tourism potential of the state. This Swiss Professional Diploma Program will place them on par, if not above, with students from leading hospitality schools in India, with the benefit of On-the-Job training.”

Said Aman Aditya Sachdev, Director & Regional Head at EHL Advisory Services for South Asia, Middle East & Myanmar: “The VET by EHL program is based on principles of the world-renowned Swiss Competency Framework. It has been developed over a two-year period with the involvement of EHL subject matter experts and faculty members, as well as with global industry feedback. The objective is to prepare the youth worldwide for frontline job roles in the hospitality industry at global standards. Students of the program in Bharat will be at a significant advantage with future employers, in global mobility and in their career progression. They will acquire the relevant knowledge and competencies required by the industry at par with international programs.”

Added Praveen Roy, Associate Director and Regional Head of VET by EHL for South Asia, Middle East & Myanmar: “Bharat has always been a high priority country for the EHL Education Group.

There are several factors behind this such as the significant demographic dividend, the pro-hospitality mindset of the youth, the current size and projected growth of the hospitality industry in the country resulting in high levels of demand for a qualified workforce, Bharat’s unique position in the global supply of skilled manpower for the hospitality industry and the quality of the current skilling programs available to the Bharatiya youth.”

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