OTTAWA — The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC) has announced a partnership with the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Training and Development Institute to provide hospitality training to international markets through the Emerit training suite.

According to Wendy Swedlove, president of the CTHRC, “It is a tremendous opportunity to have IATA recognize the value of the Emerit training suite and to have this opportunity to share it with the world.”

Aviation has a significant footprint in Canada’s economy, contributing $33.3 billion (2.2 per cent) of Canadian GDP and 401,000 jobs (2.4 per cent) of the Canadian workforce, reports Guido Gianasso, IATA vice-president, Human Capital. “Air transport and hospitality are integral parts of the travel industry’s ecosystem, delivering an end-to-end travel experience. This natural co-existence and co-dependence between two very important tourism sectors has prompted IATA to collaborate with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council. The IATA Training and Development Institute brings international hospitality training to tourism students worldwide.”

With a range of experience in developing occupational standards and certification, over the years the Emerit team has developed relevant, practical training and certification products for Canada and the world. Each of the products is developed in collaboration with tourism industry professionals, including regular updates to ensure each resource meets the changing needs of the occupation and the industry at large. The new agreement will see co-branded training available through IATA’s Training and Development Institute (ITDI), for reservation sales agent, front-desk agent, housekeeping room attendant, bartender, food and beverage server, food and beverage manager and line cook

“Canada has always been regarded as an industry leader, so it was a natural fit,” said Jon Kiely, vice-president, Communications, CTHRC, Ironically, he adds, “Emerit has taken hold more internationally than domestically. When the Institute identified the need for a hospitality training program, a search for training solutions discovered Emerit. Out of the blue, IATA contacted us. They were looking for additional training,” says Kiely of the association that trains 55,000 people a year. “They also asked us to help them update some of their curriculum.” Though the recession may have forced operators to reduce staff, Kiely stresses the importance of continuous training, especially in a competitive marketplace.

The partnership between Emerit and IATA was formalized last week in Ottawa when Ismail Albaidhani, ITDI’s head of Global Partnerships and Learning Innovation and Wendy Swedlove, president of the CTHRC, signed the agreement. Tony Pollard, president of the Hotel Association of Canada, attended the signing and remarked on the importance of the curriculum. “In the hospitality industry, training continues to be a critical component. Service remains the number-1 element guests are looking for and expect. The Emerit program is recognized globally as being leading edge and second to none.”

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