The British Council in Azerbaijan celebrates the success of 340 graduates of the ongoing Access to Hospitality and Apprenticeship Scheme in 2018-19. The programme is delivered in partnership with the Azerbaijan State Vocational Education Agency and the leading five-star hotels in Azerbaijan.
The programme is designed to increase employment opportunities for the graduates of the vocational education sector by developing their skills and knowledge. Leading employers from Azerbaijan’s growing tourism, hospitality, and services industries were invited to be involved in the educational process through student apprenticeship schemes. The programme has been launched jointly with the British Council’s partners in 2016. Every year, 60% of the graduates are expected to secure an employment offer from leading institutions in the tourism, hospitality and services sectors.
The British Council held a certification ceremony for the graduates of the 2018-19 edition of the programme on 29 July 2019, 11.00, at the Khirdalan Hall of the J.W. Marriott Hotel. The ceremony was attended by the Country Director of the British Council in Azerbaijan, Mr. Summer Xia, the Director of the Azerbaijan State Vocational Education Agency, Mr. Parviz Yusifov, as well as the representatives of partner institutions, graduates and students currently enrolled in the programme.
The UK’s employer-led skills and quality assurance expert, People1st UK, trained 20 instructors and provided learning materials for the prospective chefs, hotel concierges, and housekeeping attendants studying at a number of vocational education institutions, including:
- Baku State Vocational Education Centre for Tourism and Social Services,
- Baku State Vocational Education Centre for Catering and Services,
- Ganja State Vocational Education Centre,
- Qabala State Vocational Education Centre,
- Qusar State Vocational Education Centre,
- Ismayilli State Vocational Education Centre.
The VET students enrolled in the programme in 2018-19 have taken on internships and apprenticeships at leading five-star hotels in Azerbaijan, kick-starting their careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors through hands-on working experience. Programme partners included Absheron Group of Hotels, JW Marriott Absheron, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Hotel Fairmont Baku, Hilton, Pullman, The Landmark Hotel, Excelsior Hotel & Spa, Holiday Inn, Gilan Group of Hotels and Winter Park Hotel.
The State Vocational Education Agency, and the group of participating hotels, have reached an agreement with the British Council to continue the implementation of the Access to Hospitality and Apprenticeship scheme in 2019-20. The programme will involve learning and apprenticeship initiatives for the students in the vocational education institutions in Baku and other regions of Azerbaijan. The applications for the programme will open in August 2019.
The British Council thanks the State Vocational Education Agency, the People1st UK, and all participating partners in the tourism and hospitality industry for their support.