The 2nd steering committee meeting of the EU ERASMUS+ project titled “Employer programme for Hospitality and Tourism” has been successfully concluded last week. The meeting took place during the period 19 to 20 June at the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, Greece. The purpose of the project is the development and formalization of partnership processes between the tourism – hospitality private sector, tertiary educational institutions offering programmes of studies in tourism and hospitality and students, through a state – of – the art and innovative employer programme, that is tailored made to the needs of the tourism and hospitality sector.
The department of Business Administration (Heraklion) of TEI Crete participates in the above mentioned research programme as a research partner. The remaining of the research partners in the programme originate from four (4) other countries across the European Union. More specifically, research partners in the programme come from Cyprus (Higher Hotel Institute of Cyprus, and Mediterranean Management Centre), Finland (Technological University of Tampere), Italy (Grouppo4), and Spain (DΟCUMENTA).
During the 1st day of the project meeting (19th June), the main results from the primary research survey conducted by the three academic institutions across three (3) EU countries (Cyprus, Greece, Finland), were presented. Participants in the survey were drawn from academia (professors and academics), industry professionals, as well as students. The objective of the survey was set twofold. On the one hand to facilitate the identification of gaps that exist in the partnerships between industry professionals and academic institutions offering tertiary level tourism education. On the other hand, to offer solutions with respect to the development of strategic partnerships that can be mutually beneficial for all stakeholders involved (industry professionals, the academia and students).
The second day (20th of June), the meeting focused upon the planning and organization of a recommendations report for all stakeholders involved in the process. This recommendations report will focus on the development of best practice processes and initiatives that would facilitate the strategic co-operation between the tourism – hospitality sector and academia. A set of recommendations will develop out of the analysis of the empirical results derived from the survey research mentioned earlier on as well as the analysis of a set of best practice cases in the area of employer programmes in tourism and hospitality across Europe. It is envisaged that the investigation, processing and analysis of these best practice cases in tourism and hospitality will provide a set of policy and managerial recommendations that could either be implemented directly in the countries participating into the project, implemented at will depending on each country’s needs and particularities, or even to formulate the foundations for new and innovative practices and processes for strategic partnerships among stakeholders.
The next steps in the Employer Programme for Hospitality and Tourism research porgramme revolve around the identification and analysis of best practices of employer programmes between industry professionals and academia in the tourism and hospitality sector, as well as the development of an operational manual that would describe the steps and the procedures for partnering industry professionals with academia and academics in tourism and hospitality. Even further, partners in the programme will complete a series of meetings and networking activities in order to disseminate the empirical results derived from the research. The objective is to achieve a much tighter and effective networking and co-operations among the potential stakeholders and the maximization of the benefits derived from participation in the Employer programme.