Zanzibar — Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (Zati) is planning to hold a public-private partnership dialogue to seek a lasting solution for the shortage of skilled labour, which it says the sector is currently experiencing, to unleash the potential of tourism in creating jobs.
Tourism has a huge potential to generate economic growth and be the largest generator of jobs in Zanzibar but new skills are needed to remain competitive and tackle the new tourist demands, the association said noting that the vice is one of the constraints on tourism development in the isles.
According to Zati, operators are sometimes forced to hire foreigners due to lack of adequate numbers of skilled people available to work in the industry.
Zati commissioned "Skills Analysis for Zanzibar Tourism Industry" after noting most of the members of the association faced skills gaps, detrimental to their drive to grow business.
The report which was financed by Tanzania's business, advocacy and dialogue facility - BEST Dialogue - notes that to devise and develop a skilled workforce in Zanzibar, there is a need to define national skills development pathway.
The report states that in long run skills development must be imbedded in the education and training sector but is also a function of the interaction between education and training. It calls for workplace skills training programmes, more internships, apprenticeship trainings and calls for recognition of prior learned skills. "The tourism sector is labour intensive, employs a multiplicity of skills - accountants, hairdressers, tour guides and trackers and so on - thus it is one of the quickest ways to generate many jobs within a short period," said Zati chairman Seif Miskry.