UK-based sector skills council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism People 1st has signed an agreement to help set up a similar organisation in Panama.
Following an agreement between the Panamanian and UK governments to improve cooperation in the field of education and skills, the new sector skills council will address the country’s skills needs within the hotel and tourism industry.
Earlier this year, People 1st was commissioned to produce a workforce profile and skills need report on Panama’s hotel and tourism industry.
Chief executive of People 1st Brian Wisdom said: “Our team has a lot of experience working with industry employers, associations and government stakeholders, so we’re in a prime position to help establish a sector skills council in Panama.
“The simple fact that we’ve successfully addressed employers’ needs here and made significant improvements to skills in the UK shows that our strategies work. Events such as the London 2012 Olympic Games have already given our sector a great opportunity to show what we’re capable of and it’s exciting to take this experience to Panama to help its hospitality and tourism industry.”
The new body will focus on addressing requirements highlighted in the Skills 2020 report, such as the requirement to provide suitable English language training for hospitality and tourism workers.
Panama’s national institute for vocational training Instituto Nacional de Formacion Profesional y Capacitación para el desarrollo Humano (INADEH) and the Panamanian government have both agreed to provide support and resources to establish the skills council.
The British Embassy was instrumental in providing People 1st with the opportunity to become involved in the project.
Her Majesty’s Ambassador Michael John Holloway OBE remarked: “We are delighted to be working with People 1st’s team. They have an in-depth knowledge of how to successfully work with industry to transform skills and improve professionalism, so we are looking forward to drawing on their experience to make Panama a world class tourism destination.
President of Empresas Bern Herman Bern will become the inaugural chairman of the sector skills council.