Over 2,000 individuals employed in the hospitality sector are set to benefit from Diageo training which aims at elevating the industry standards.
The training will be provided under the Diageo Bar Academy, a global program that benchmarks international best practices to enhance the skills and competencies of both hospitality staff and management to drive better guest experiences.
“We will play a role towards boosting the hospitality industry by influencing better guest experiences, which will directly result in higher consumer participation and higher revenues earned by businesses and consequently the economy. We intend to reach over 2,000 people employed in hospitality over the next two months to deliver world-class practical and hands-on training around the country”, Agaba Tumusiime, Reserve Brand Ambassador at Uganda Breweries Limited said.
“The hospitality sector is one of the biggest employers in the country. With the increased number of young people joining the labor market every year, supporting business growth and stimulating entrepreneurship in this highly viable sector is critical for socio-economic growth. With this training, UBL is providing opportunities for young people to achieve gainful employment within the hospitality industry which was one of the highest contributors to GDP before the pandemic. We believe this will over time improve the quality of life of the beneficiaries by enhancing their capability to earn a living,” he said.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism and hospitality sector contributed 7.7% of GDP with earnings of USD 1.6 billion. According to the Ministry of Tourism, the tourism and hospitality sector accounts for nearly 667,000 staff with 90% employed in the hospitality sector and contributing 6.7% of total national employment.
“The country is currently grappling with various economic shocks that have resulted in a tough operating environment. This situation comes on the heels of the pandemic that resulted in business closure for a period of close to 2 years. This is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting business recovery and survival,” he said.
Under the National Development Plan III, Uganda is prioritizing workforce skills development to accelerate the acquisition of urgently needed skills in key growth areas, and to create a skilled, inclusive, and ethical labor force. These efforts are expanding opportunities for the development of skills that are market-driven and enterprise-driven, including for the informal sector.
Uganda is one of the youngest countries in the world, with a median age of 15.9 years. According to the World Bank, around 700,000 young people reach working age every year in Uganda. This is expected to rise to an average of one million in the decade from 2030-2040, and it is already creating a mismatch between labor demand and supply.