Labour market and training needs for tourism in the Maldives

Where must the public education system start in order to meet the future demand for well-trained tourism professionals? This question was the focus of a labour market and training needs study that Kai Partale conducted for the Maldives on behalf of the Ministry of Eudcation / World Bank.

Internationally competitive resorts and tourism enterprises form the foundation of the tourism industry in the Maldives. Their key resource are skilled workers who meet high standards both in terms of their technical skills and their service orientation. Ideally, a country meets this demand from its own resources. Because: The more services are provided by regional providers, the greater the regional added value created by tourism.

In a country with an enormous number of overnight stays in relation to the number of inhabitants, such as the Maldives, this is obviously difficult. In order to counter the existing lack of skilled workers with sensible measures in the education sector, Kai Partale was commissioned by the Maldivian government to prepare a tourism labour market and traininig needs study. One particular objective of the project, which was financed by the World Bank, was to improve the employability of youth and women in tourism.

It was based on both quantitative and qualitative analyses, such as surveys with tourism and hospitality enterprises, focus group discussions and expert interviews. On the basis of data on the current situation as well as various assumptions and scenarios on the development of the industry, forecasts on future educational needs were derived and gaps in the educational sector identified. Concrete starting points and measures to make the tourism education and training system in the Maldives sustainable were finally worked out and verified by a technical working group. The results were presented at a national tourism forum in February 2020. From now on, they will form the guideline for the development of the tourism education sector in the Maldives.