Case Study

Developing a bespoke traineeship and apprenticeship programme for the hospitality industry

In an emerging economy, helping local young people develop vital skills can drive business growth that will create job opportunities in new industries.

People 1st
British Council
Skills Solution
Training, Apprenticeships

Azerbaijan’s economy has traditionally been dependent on the oil and gas industry. The government recognised the need to diversify and capitalise on their opportunities for growth in other areas – particularly in the emerging hospitality and tourism sector.

With limited hospitality experience in the local population, and a large gap between employers’ needs and the vocational training on offer, the British Council asked People 1st to help create new programmes that would give businesses the skilled workforce they needed.

Our first task was to bring together a group of employers and teachers to really listen to what the hospitality industry in Azerbaijan needed. We then developed bespoke apprenticeship models for housekeeping, front of house and concierge and chefs.

We created a pre-employment training programme, building on our experience developing the Employment 1st programme in the UK, and trained local trainers to deliver it, which led to the implementation of traineeships and work experience for the candidates.

We then developed the programme into industry apprenticeships – a vital part of the sector’s ongoing development.

Azerbaijan now has a pool of trained, highly-motivated trainers, as well as a large number of trainees and apprentices in the programmes. Participants from the programme bring a wealth of experience and anecdotal evidence of the sector to their training – they are on the front line of the industry and will serve as hospitality ambassadors as well as trainers.

We are now providing ongoing support for the apprenticeship programme, providing opportunities for young people to progress in this sector.

“The British Council is supporting Azerbaijan ministry reforms in TVET and working in particular in employer engagement and curriculum planning. One of the pilot areas is in the tourism sector; if Azerbaijan is to see its tourism market thrive, then public bodies need to listen to the employers, and the industry needs young people with the skills and education that match their needs. People 1st provided us with the expertise to train our trainers that allowed us to set up traineeships and apprenticeships, allowing us to share UK experience in TVET and tourism in particular with the sector in Azerbaijan.”

British Council, Azerbaijan

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