Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki announced this week plans to enhance tourism training and education, internship programs. According to Zacharaki, there are also plans to establish an English-language educational facility in Greece.
The Athens News Agency (ANA-MPA) conducted an interview with Zacharaki in which she disclose that the ministry was moving ahead for changing the way internships are offered to students of the IEK and ASTE tourism schools. Zacharaki was quoted by GTP and other news outlets saying students now had the chance to gain hands-on experience in bakeries, restaurants with the Special Quality Label for Greek cuisine, shipping agencies, cruise companies, General Sales Agents (GSA) companies, airlines, ground and passenger services providers, car rental agencies, hotel management firms as well as airport management companies. She added that internship programs have been extended to companies and participants in other EU countries. She went on to say:
“The internship programs will now offer more flexibility. Existing restrictions have been removed so that students and trainees can freely choose the time period and the business of their choice”.
The minister also took the opportunity to express how COVID-19 has transformed business, especially where digital technologies are being deployed more rapidly. She said these digital tools will play a key role in the way tourism training and education expand.
Zacharaki went on to announce that the ministry has also tabled a proposal budgeted at 46 million euros to the recovery fund for the further training of 20,000 employees in tourism to be implemented over the next three years in seven key areas through distance learning schemes. The program to start this year offers training in tourism to 20,000 unemployed and seasonal workers in a wide range of fields including ecotourism.
Finally, the minister said her ministry is looking into establishing a tourism education institution that will offer classes in English. Greece, she said, can become a hub for students interested in visiting one of the world’s most popular destinations and given the chance to work alongside seasoned professionals.