• IBT piloting with 390 trainees in four hotels
• All tuition, facilities and consumables provided by Skills Development Project (SDP) within WDA
• To be scaled up geographically and to other priority sectors
BY THOMAS KAGERA
Nkurunziza Jean Dean, the Managing Director Eastland Motel-Kayonza, says it simply and clearly. “We train these youths here, equip them with hospitality skills to serve as if the hotel belonged to them and to count every client as if their very own life depended on them.” His is a second statement; the first having been made by a young waiter’s actions.
This Friday afternoon as I enter the hotel, he picks a clean felted cloth, cleans the already meticulously glimmering ebony-made counter, flashed by dimly intermittent lights that kiss bottles and glasses about, like the blushing of dawn.
Subdued music emanates from strategically placed speakers.
Then, with luxuriant confidence and an extravagant smile, he walks towards me, welcomes, greets and asks me to feel at home. Waste of time and words; I was already feeling thus.
After heartily quaffing my cold drink, coke, I sit the waiter down to have his tale of how he manages to be so professional.
This waiter, Bagire Edward, 26, is among the 93 beneficiaries, of the Industry-Based Training Project (IBT), getting equipped with hospitality skills at Eastland Motel, Kayonza, in the Eastern Province. Under the auspices of the Skills Development Project (SDP), a World Bank-funded project within the Workforce Development Authority with funding from the World Bank, the programme is currently benefitting 390 youths drawn from around the country.