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Supporting Next-Gen of Omani hoteliers

22 Jul 2020

Omran Group, the sultanate’s executive arm for tourism development, has signed a Capability Building Agreement with the National Training Fund (NTF). The strategic two-year collaboration project aims to attract young Omani hospitality enthusiasts and provide them with hands-on operational experience to become the future hoteliers of the sultanate’s growing tourism industry. 

The agreement was signed by Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Omran Group and Sharifa bint Tahir Aidid, CEO of the National Training Fund, during a virtual signing ceremony in the presence of senior officials from both parties. 

The main objective of the programme is to increase the Omanisation level at Omran hospitality assets from the current overall 40 per cent – which, so far, is considered larger than the private sector average – and boost it further to 50 percent within a two-year period. 

The programme will identify 175 Omani job seekers with high school, diploma and bachelor’s degrees and facilitate their skills development and professional growth in a hospitality career. The programme is also expected to increase awareness amongst Omani youth about the advantages and character-building potential of an early hospitality career.

In order to create a link between the educational outcomes and the market needs, potential collaboration and capacity-building programmes will be explored at Oman Tourism College, including various specialised programmes to be conducted by NTF, stated a press release. 

Walichnowski said, “The collaboration with NTF reflects Omran Group’s commitment to support the goals of the National Tourism Strategy 2040. We are fully determined to invest in local talents and enable them to embrace a sustainable career path. The hotel industry, indeed, has great potential to serve as an engine for job creation and a driving force for economic growth and development.

“Through this partnership, we are not only aiming to attract and support young, talented Omanis to work in the hospitality sector but also intend to meaningfully increase the extent of Omanisation at our hotel portfolio to effectively reach further sustainable levels.” 
Sharifa said, “NTF is pleased to ink this strategic partnership with Omran Group. It will positively open up a broad spectrum of opportunities for young Omanis in Omran’s diverse hotel portfolio.

“This collaborative project will deliver several training programmes that will strengthen the skills and capabilities of jobseekers and increase their probability to secure employment in the hospitality and tourism sector. These industry-standard vocational programmes are attuned to realise the needs of the industry.

Moreover, this gamut of trainings will enable young Omanis to familiarise themselves with the type of work they will be delving into, thereby, facilitating the work readiness of competent hoteliers. Ultimately, these Omani talents will make an immediate and valuable contribution to the local economy.” 

Overall, the programme will provide the hotels with handpicked young talents, who will be shortlisted through a rigorous selection process. They will be well-equipped to further progress in their careers within the hotel industry and become future executives and leaders within the sector. 

The jobs opportunities include, but are not limited to, front office and concierge, leisure and recreation, food and beverages, banqueting departments, reservations, sales and marketing, administration and finance as well as engineering and property management. 

In a similar initiative to promote and nurture talent in the hospitality sector, Apex Media and the National Hospitality Institute (NHI) together have launched a first-of-its-kind award, the ‘Hospitality Champions 2020’.

The award aims to celebrate outstanding performance of Omanis in the hospitality sector, whilst critically, underlining the exciting career prospects that await new Omani students wishing to train for a future in the industry.

Final judging in the ‘Hospitality Champions 2020’ awards culminated after a two-month process and the panel of judges and interviewers selected winners from over 70 finalists in 25 categories further to a comprehensive process of original application reviews, one-to-one on-site by Apex Media, publisher of Muscat Daily, and the NHI.

The curtains will be lifted on the final list of winners soon, the date of which will be announced at the earliest opportunity.



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