|By Tom Hanratty, Gulf Daily News, Manama,
BahrainMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jun. 9, 2009--THE hospitality industry in Bahrain and the Gulf could offer 1.5 million new jobs in the next four years, according to a top training provider.
Hospitality is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, says Bahrain Institute of Hospitality and Retail (BIHR) managing director Qutub Dadabhai.
He was speaking as 377 students, including 234 women, graduated from the BIHR in a ceremony at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf International Convention Centre last night.
They completed the BIHR programme, sponsored by Tamkeen which spearheads a national campaign to train Bahrainis and provide them with necessary skills.
"This is a historic day for training in Bahrain and an important one for the developing partnership between the private and the public sectors.
"We are delighted this group has completed their studies and are stepping into the world of work."
The BIHR is the leading Middle East partner of the world's largest provider of hospitality education -- the American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute (AHLEI) -- and has global rights for Arabic translation of its books, he said.
"We have taken steps to promote the sector after a very fruitful partnership with Tamkeen.
"Today, this partnership, under the guidance of the Specific Council in Hospitality and Retail, is bearing fruit."
He said the BIHR would continue to support Bahrain's development as a major centre for tourism and hospitality by training Bahrainis to be the 'employees of choice' in the sector.
He said Tamkeen's initiatives to provide education funding schemes, among other things, are a source of encouragement not only for young Bahrainis, but also the country's burgeoning private sector.
The BIHR, part of the Gulf Hospitality and Tourism Educational Company, has pioneered vocational hospitality, retail and tourism education in Bahrain and the wider Gulf area by fusing local, regional and international influences.
The graduates have completed a number of subjects, including cross-selling and cashiering, food preparation, front office, fast food service and retail operations.
Tamkeen chief executive Abdulellah Al Qassimi and AHLEI vice-president David Lechter were key speakers.
Council chairman Ebrahim Al Kooheji and member Amal Almoayyed also attended.
Winners of special award included most outstanding students Mariam Mohammed Ali (retail) and Abdulla Ali Salman Kadhem (hospitality) and most improved students Kawthar Mohamed Yusuf Al Khalaf (retail) and Shaima Abdul Aziz Mohamed Ali (hospitality).
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