Resolve poor working conditions of hospitality employees – Minister

Accra- Mr Bright Wireko-Brobby, the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, has urged the players in the hospitality industry to urgently tackle the issues of low wages and occupational and safety challenges.

He also entreated them to ensure the payment of social security and raise the low payment of pensions to employees in the sector

Mr Wireko-Brobby urged them to work hard to reverse the erroneous impression that, hotels are places for practicing immorality, in order to boost the patronage of the country’s tourism destinations and increase its contribution to national development.

He underscored the need for hospitality operators to ensure variety in the kind of cuisines served to clients, in order to attract both local and international tourists and enhance their competiveness.

Mr Wireko-Brobby gave the advice when he opened the maiden International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) SCORE Hospitality Coaching (HoCo) Training of Enterprises Workshop, in Accra on Monday.

The training was funded by the governments of Switzerland and Norway, with the objective of improving the competencies of players in the hospitality industry, to improve the quality of service delivery, working conditions of workers and enhance cost productivity.

The beneficiaries were small-scale enterprises and members of the Ghana Hotels Association, Ghana Employers Association, Association of Ghana Industries and the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Trade and Industries.

The Swiss Government is supporting the training programme with 12 million Swiss franc, in eight African countries, including Ghana.

Mr Wireko-Brobby said the hospitality industry contributed immensely towards the country’s socio-economic development and commended the ILO for the initiative.

The Deputy Minister entreated the participants to endeavour to translate the knowledge and skills that would be acquired into practical interventions to improve productivity and increase the country’s tourism destination.

He noted that artificial intelligence was gradually taking over human jobs globally, but I believe that, if workers offer quality services better than what machines could offer, employers would always seek your services.

Dr Ziblin Iddi Barri, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, in an address, painted a gloomy picture of the country’s hospitality industry, explaining that, Ghana placed 120th position out of 136 countries assessed by the World Economic Forum, in terms of their tourism competitiveness and hygiene.

He attributed the country’s poor rating to the declining quality service delivery and professionalism, which is drawing back the gains made in the hospitality sector.

He called for change of attitudes and mindset by industry players to transform the sector for the better, in view of the comparative advantage the nation had in tourism over other West African nations.

That, he said, would enable the nation to realise its vision of achieving the Ghana beyond aid, with the hospitality sector estimated to rake-in GH?19.8 million from the previous GH?4.5 million accrued in 2008.

The sector is currently supporting more than 300,000 direct jobs and over 600,000 indirect jobs nationwide.

He said government had undertaken a number of strategic interventions towards strengthening the arts and culture industry, improve partnerships and institutions, as well as enhance coordination framework and public-private partnerships to create congenial atmosphere for investments.

Madam Erica Duah, a Quality Control Officer at MJ Grand Hotel, a beneficiary of the training programme, told the GNA that, she expected to enhance her knowledge and skills in quality management in order to boost the cost productivity of the hotel.

Source: Ghana News Agency