Siberian Hoteliers on the Path toward Union

Alena Donskaya, 24.03.2014 11:20
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At the end of last week, during the second business meeting of Siberian hoteliers in the convention hotel ‘Novosibirsk’, there was a round-table discussion devoted to the issues of specialist training in the service and hotel business. The topic was discussed by hoteliers and travel educators from Tomsk, Kemerovo and Novosibirsk Oblasts, Altai Krai and the Altai Republic.

Representatives of departments of some Siberian universities voiced their grievances against the management of hotels: many hotels are reluctant to open their doors for the student internships. The issue was brought up in the speech of  Boris Shteingolts, head of the department of the service economy at Novosibirsk State Technical University (NSTU). 

For 15 years NSTU has been training hotel business specialists. However, we still lack effective cooperation between higher education, employee training in the field of hotel service, and professional practice. It is easier to come to an agreement with an out-of-town hotel than with a local one. I believe that the reason for this lack of communication between hotels and universities is the absence of a professional hotelier association in Novosibirsk. In developed countries such professional organizations set job quotas for universities,” set the head of the department.

Another participant of the round-table discussion, associate professor at the department of global economy and tourism at Siberian Transport University (STU) Lidiya Komarova, says that she has no trouble organizing internship for her students. Each year her university organizes professional practice in the hotels of Novosibirsk and of neighboring regions.

However, she whole-heartedly supports the idea of creating an association of Siberian hoteliers. She also enumerated the main qualities that employers look for when considering graduates for a position.

A poll conducted by the website ‘Karya’ shows that the first thing 85% of employers pay attention to is a graduate’s personal qualities – interpersonal skills, leadership skills, independence. Then they look at a graduate’s computer skills, work experience and general knowledge in different subject areas. And only after that the employer looks at the theoretical knowledge of the specialized programs, internships and the knowledge of foreign languages. A diploma with honors and teacher references were considered last by the employers,” said the expert.

General Director of AZIMUT Hotel Siberia Yelena Sitnikova agrees. She says that hotels need regular workforce, which does not require higher education. “Maids and waiters constitute the main problem. In their case, high level of competence is not that necessary. You do not need higher hotel education in order to learn to smile, listen attentively and respect others. Only management and top-management of a hotel needs higher education,” she told TRN magazine.

Executive Director of ‘Altai Welcome’ Association Tatyana Malysheva gave her take on the creation of an hotelier association in a talk with the TRN correspondent: “I believe that Novosibirsk is ready for an hotelier association. We have been through that before. The idea for a union was mooted in summer of 2010 at a meeting of Barnaul hotel directors. It was backed by 6 people of the union then. As a result, the idea was approved by the regional and city authorities. In March of 2012 we got accreditation certificate which allowed us to classify hotels. In October of 2012 we got a teaching license. Right now the association comprises 30 members, including three educational institutions. As of yet there are no universities in the association.”

During the meeting, college representatives voiced their complaints to the local hoteliers. According to Head of the department of full-time education at Novosibirsk Trade and Economic College Valentina Shibayeva, local hotels do not provide internships for students. At the same time, the Ministry of Labor and Employment of Novosibirsk Oblast has commissioned this secondary educational institution to admit 25 people in 2014-2015 for ‘hotel service’ courses.

We went to one hotel that could offer employment, and they rejected us, saying that they would rather take on university graduates than college ones,” said Valentina Shibayeva. “I have come here to negotiate an agreement on cooperation with hotels.”

However, hotel management had its own questions for the teachers.  General Director of ‘Barnaul’ hotel Sergei Voronov  believes that there is a similar situation in Barnaul, Tomsk, Novokuznetsk and other Siberian cities.

Universities take issue with us because we do not accept students for professional practice. Me personally – I do not reject anyone: neither for the usual internship, nor for the pregraduation one. But there is another thing that always baffles me – university teachers are not at all interested in their students’ practice. One might think that they themselves are not familiar with it and are only capable of providing theoretical knowledge. Maybe it is time to consider retraining of teachers?..”


 

Страны, регионы и города: Russia
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