Swiss Hospitality Co. (SHC) launched the “Saudi Tourism Training and Recruitment” (STTAR) accelerator program, aimed at boosting the careers of talented young people wishing to forge a path in the hospitality industry, in partnership with the Majid Society, a nonprofit, meritocratic organization focused on empowering disadvantaged people.
SHC, a Jeddah-based firm, was established in 2014 and built around Swiss hospitality standards, combined with Saudi cultural values.
“In Saudi Arabia, we have hospitality in our DNA, but unfortunately, we don’t have the standards,” Salman Gasim, SHC’s chief executive officer, told Arab News. “We are trying to learn from the best, which is Switzerland.”
STTAR is the first initiative of its kind in the Kingdom, and aims to define new standards across the industry, blending European customer service with Saudi culture.
It supports people who either want to join at entry level, are experienced but want to accelerate their career, and those already in leading positions who feel they can improve.
Hammam Zare, the general manager of the Majid Society, told Arab News: “Our society will serve as a bridge between the SHC and the wider community, through which we will provide young people with opportunities and training. Our goal is to empower individuals and reduce unemployment.”
Gasim said: “The first program is made for unemployed Saudis who are not in the field yet, who need the most support, guidance, and who lack industry experience.”
He added that the program was deliberately short, lasting only up to 10 days, and designed smartly to be efficient.
SHC has signed over 32 agreements with strategic partners in the Kingdom, from hotel chains, restaurants and cafes to cinemas, bakeries and chocolatiers.
SHC also helped 70 young Saudis to earn degrees and diplomas in various hospitality fields in 2018, including culinary arts and event management.
Students received their education in Switzerland and elsewhere, and the company aims to send 100 more this year.