There is a growing interest for youthful Kenyan hospitality workers getting absorbed to work aboard ocean-going cruise ships and international airlines, the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers has said.
Speaking in Mombasa, KAHC Coast branch executive officer, Sam Ikwaye said that the world’s largest family-owned cruise liner, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises are recruiting Kenyan hospitality workers.
“Already MSC Cruises has recruited more than 1,000 Kenyan youth while Royal Caribbean Cruises is in town targeting to take another 1,000 in an exercise being coordinated by Kenya Maritime Authority and the Kenya Utalii College,” he said.
Dr Ikwaye said there is a need to boost Kenya’s training capacities for the hospitality labour market.
He said that stakeholders in the tourism industry are urging the Government to hasten the completion of the Ronald Ngala Utali College in Vipingo, Kilifi County, which has taken close to a decade to complete.
Tourism Fund is the project client on behalf of the Government and requires an additional Sh1.9 billion to complete before President Uhuru Kenyatta commissions its first phase.
Dr Ikwaye said Kenya needs to take advantage of gestures by international firms recruiting Kenyan workers by ensuring there are proper facilities to train the manpower required.
“It may appear a good development strategy where hospitality workers get well-paying jobs abroad, but we may soon run out of the quality workforce and getting them back might be expensive,” he said.