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Strengthening the hospitality sector in Gambia

A well-educated workforce is essential for sustainable economic development. An important challenge in this respect is the connection of vocational training to the needs of employers in the labour market, so that young people can find work more easily. PUM offers support to vocational education and training institutions in close collaboration with the business sector in developing countries and emerging markets.

An example of this is the agreement that PUM recently made with the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) and The Gambia Hotel Association (TGHA). PUM will provide intensive support to the training institute over the next three years. The GTHI is one of the few institutes in Gambia that offers specialized training in the field of tourism. In the meantime, more than 4000 students have followed a practical training at this institute and found a job in the hospitality sector.

‘This is the beginning of something beautiful’

After a number of preparatory missions by various experts, and through the efforts of project manager Johan Spape, the first training mission took place just before Christmas. PUM expert Martin Huizinga had prepared an intensive training program for teachers and instructors in which they were trained in, among other things, 21st century Skills, quality management in education, and digital skills in the classroom.

Well-educated employees

“This is the beginning of something beautiful,” says Martin Huizinga, who has been volunteering for PUM for many years in addition to his regular activities in education. “We use our knowledge and experience to help vocational education on the one hand to organise their training in line with the needs of the business community, and on the other hand to support the business community in recruiting well-educated employees.” Martin emphasises that it is important to remain fully in the sector and to be able to continue to provide state of the art training in this area: “The developments in the industry are going so fast. Before you know it, you only teach history lessons. Contact was also made with NAQQA, the national organisation responsible for accrediting institutions and teachers for education.”

During this training mission, the final cooperation agreement was signed by the GTHI Director General, Mr. Daouda Niang and the Chairman of the Hotel Gambia Association, Mr. Bunama Njie.