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24 May

Mentors committee for Shannon College graduates holds second general meeting to review progress and chart way forward

The Seychelles Tourism Academy’s mentors’ committee for Shannon College graduates organised its second general meeting on Friday December 15, 2017.

The mentors committee chaired by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, ensures the wellbeing of the graduates upon completion of their studies at the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland.

The committee, which is also made up of general managers and human resource managers of the hotels where the graduates are employed, also ensures that there is a good mentoring programme in place, to encourage them to continue working in the tourism industry.

The meeting held at the Seychelles Tourism Academy at La Misère, was also attended by the Minister for Employment, Immigration and Civil Status, Myriam Télémaque, Principal Secretary for Employment Jules Baker, Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Flavien Joubert, as well as the Principal Scholarship Officer at the Agency for National Human Resource Development (ANHRD) Amanda Denis, and the graduates.

The Chairperson of the mentors committee, PS Anne Lafortune, highlighted work done so far in 2017. This includes the updating of the graduates’ list and close monitoring of their progress.

Mrs Lafortune announced that a new progress report format will be used as of next year, to better record information about the graduates. Constant follow-ups with the hotels to obtain details of their training and succession plans is also envisioned to improve the mentoring process. PS Lafortune also appealed to the graduates to work in close collaboration with the committee, providing relevant information as and when needed.

The Seychellois graduates were also given the opportunity to voice out their concerns, and give their views on pertinent issues.

One of the main issues raised was the fact that they are limited to working in the operations department and not so much involved in the administration aspect of the hotels, but it was clarified that this was clearly explained in their bonding agreement. The ANHRD announced that it is working closely with the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management department at the STA, to ensure that students are informed on the conditions of the bonding agreements while they are still studying.

Whether or not the graduates can benefit from international work experience within their four-year bonding timeframe, lack of feedback from their managers, was among other concerns raised. The mentors’ committee welcomed the idea that graduates can be given international exposure working in an international branch of their respective hotels, but that this should be communicated to the ANHRD if the placement happens during the four-year duration of their bonding.

The meeting ended with a buffet dinner prepared and served by Year 1 and Year 3 students enrolled on the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management course, who are also aspiring to pursue their studies in Ireland and come back to join the Seychelles’ tourism industry.

The hospitality management courses offered by Seychelles Tourism Academy, was launched in 2008, and the first cohort of students was enrolled the next year. The course entails three years of study at the STA for an advanced diploma in hospitality management, after which the students move to Ireland for one year to obtain their bachelor's degree.