The EU is the world's no 1 tourist destination. To keep this position, we need to continuously improve the quality of our services. This includes quality hospitality training and motivated, knowledgeable staff.
Adapting tourism activity to globalisation and new market demands will require additional efforts to improve the professional skills of workers in the sector. Particular attention should be given to adapting to new technologies and customer expectations, and encouraging cross border mobility.
The EU Commission has a short, medium and long term agenda to contribute to this objective:
Short term - EURES
- a dedicated hospitality-sector section in EURES, the EU Job Mobility Portal (operational in early 2013), allowing employers to assess the skills and experiences of job candidates from their own and other EU countries, facilitate a better match of supply and demand on the labour market for the hotel and restaurant sector and thus improve the mobility of workers.
- a call for tender to encourage other interested segments of the tourism sector in preparing for the integration of their own dedicated sections, such as: aquatic (and) adventure tourism, mountain (and) adventure tourism, cultural and thematic tourism, wellbeing and health tourism. The contract should be signed by the end of 2012, and the sections operational in EURES early 2014.
- Mapping the skills and training needs for improved accessibility of tourism services. More on accessible tourism
Medium term – make best use of existing programmes
- integrating tourism specific initiatives in the EU funding programmes for training, such as the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus, Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig) and 'Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs'. Promoting awareness of the initiatives among tourism-sector stakeholders and workers.
- Monitoring sector-specific developments in common European frameworks such as the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), Europass and the European Credit System for VET (ECVET).
- A dedicated project funded by a recent call for proposals by DG Education and Culture, looking for projects under the Sector Skills Alliances, which acknowledges the importance of the tourism sector.
Long term – Tourism skills competences framework
- developing a tourism skills competences framework in different phases, depending on the active involvement of our stakeholders:
A structured model of the skills/competences needed in the tourism sector and how they map onto occupations in the sector, developed in cooperation with DG Employment – in the framework of ESCO (European Skills/Competences, Occupations and Qualifications). The first version of this classification is expected by the end of 2012, the final version by mid 2014. A description of certificates and qualifications and the associated skills/competences will be established.
Supply side assessment to evaluate the skills available on the market as the outcome of education or training.
Suggested policy responses to close potential gaps identified between the two sides and improve cooperation between the academic world and industry.
- Stage 1