The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Saturday to establish a sector skills council (SCC) with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF) with support from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
This came during a press conference launching the joint country strategy between Egypt and the EBRD for 2022-2027
This new public-private partnership and policy dialogue platform will develop skill-gap analysis, skill development strategies, qualification frameworks, and occupational skill standards. It will also provide market-relevant training to the hospitality and tourism sector, thus helping to develop a skilled labour market and opening up greater access to employment for those working in tourism-related industries. The tourism sector is a fundamental contributor to the country’s economic growth.
The parties involved will develop a clear mandate and operational plan for the SSC along with a list of the 20 most pertinent occupational standards for the tourism sector. Capacity-building support will also be provided to SSC partners in government, enterprise, and training provision.
Representatives from various tourism and hospitality sectors — such as hotels, restaurants, and tour guides — will play a leading role in the SSC to ensure market relevance and strong private-sector input into skills governance.
To boost the recovery of Egypt’s tourism sector in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the EBRD also launched a tourism recovery assistance package in partnership with the World Tourism Organisation. The package will support the measurement and monitoring of the coronavirus’ impacts on the sector, the development of tourism recovery incentive programmes, and the review of operational protocols on safety, hygiene, and security. As part of the package, tailor-made training programmes have been developed alongside institutional strengthening measures to better coordinate the recovery and bolster the growth of Egypt’s tourism.
Furthermore, the EBRD has recently supported access to market-relevant skills and employment opportunities with a new state-of-the-art culinary workshop at the German Hotel School in El-Gouna in partnership with the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development and funded by the EBRD’s Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Multi-Donor Account (SEMED MDA).
The EBRD also previously supported the tourism sector in the SEMED region with a similar venture in Jordan in 2018. The first tourism and hospitality SSC in the country saw some 20,000 employees benefit from better training programmes and the skills development needed to boost a vital local industry that was later on severely hit by the pandemic.
In Egypt, the EBRD supported the launch of the first SSC of its kind in the electrical equipment and cables industry in 2019. It signed a MoU with the Federation of Egyptian Industries and the Chamber of Engineering Industries to create a policy dialogue platform on skills governance led by the private sector.
The EBRD continues to support the SSC architecture in Egypt along with various partners, including the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, the Ministry of International Cooperation, the second phase of the EU’s Technical and Vocational Education, the United States Agency for International Development, Germany’s Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, and others.
Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of the bank’s operations there in 2012, the EBRD has invested more than €8.6bn in 144 projects across the country.