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The development of the tourism sector through the IdEATE project

The project IdEATE - Improved Employability and Apprenticeship in the Tourism Sector -, in which the Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce was part as one of the major partners, has officially come to an end on 30th April 2018, after 18 months of activities and remarkable initiatives to support the employment in the tourism sector. The EU-funded project has been realized by an international consortium of 10 partners and includes activities in several European countries, such as Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Spain and Finland.

 The initiative developed by the BICC within IdEATE project is called European Tourism Careers. Its main goal is to create a professional specialized network that makes the most of collaborative approaches, engagement, storytelling and relationships, promoting long-lasting careers, a different approach and innovative strategies to strengthen tourism across the EU.

The project itself aims at enhancing the image of careers in the tourism sector, which is not enough attractive for high skilled employers. Even the President of the BICC Fabio Morvilli emphasized the main issues linked to the tourism’s development: “Ultimately, tourism shall be considered of fundamental importance for the Italian economy, but it is still underestimated. By solving the lack of coordination between national and regional’s policies, more job opportunities could be generated especially for young people”. In this perspective, a critical point would be assuring jobseekers of better quality training and bridge the gap between the workers’ skills provided by education institutions and the tourism market’s demand. Nothing more than that could help jobseekers, in particular youngsters, in getting progressively closer to the tourism careers.

The BICC gave its contribution in this touristic project with the realization of several dissemination events, thanks to its experience on the previous TATRA project in 2014-2015. In April 2018, the European Parliament hosted the conference “New Skills Agenda: Career Development In Tourism” organized by the BICC with the cooperation of the MEPs Istvan Ujhelyi - Vice-Chair of the EU Toursim Task Force - and Isabella De Monte - Member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism -. “Digitalization in Tourism Sector: New Skills and New Profession” was instead the topic of the conference which took place in November 2017. Here, the stakeholders from the tourism sector discussed how tourism industry is fast-changing due to new technological strategies and how this innovation is affecting employment. Moreover, in March 2018, the Minister of Tourism of the Walloon Region René Collin was the guest of honour of the conference “Le Tourisme durable, poumon pour l’économie wallonne et tremplin pour l’emploi des jeunes. This important event was introduced by the President of the BICC Fabio Morvilli, who then gave the floor to Elena Basile, Ambassador of Italy within the Royal Kingdom of Belgium and Iuliana Gabriela Aluas, Deputy Head of Unit of the European Commission.

The European Tourism Careers was presented during a Roadshow in 10 countries all around Europe. The BICC represented the project not only in Belgium but also in Poland, thanks to the participation at “European Tourism Careers @Absolvent Talent Days”, the largest career fair for students and young graduates in Warsaw and Krakow. The participants of the tour discovered the opportunities for job mobility provided by the EU and subscribed to the e-learning course of IdEATE project.

Furthermore, to face new market demands and ever-increasing competitiveness, the European Tourism Careers initiative aims to capitalize on the competences and skills of young people and of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the field of tourism. The BICC has concretely contributed to the design of e-learning courses to improve the qualification of human capital for the tourism sector. They also enhance and facilitate the presentation, communication and improvement of soft skills. Through the organization of focus groups on jobseekers and SMEs, the BICC tried to better understand their needs. In order to improve the image of careers in the tourism sector, several videos have been realised.

More in detail, it is possible to find 6 videos of testimonials and ambassadors of tourism careers and 2 videos on SMEs and jobseekers of which the BICC gave its major contribution, thanks to its working experience in Brussels and its knowledge about the European initiatives for jobs opportunities. The project's activities aren't going to end up. The IdEATE project leader Federturismo will keep working on with the enterprises and the European training institutes in order to improve both skills and professional profiles  within the tourism sector thanks to the project "Next Tourism Generation Alliance".

You can find further info at www.tourismcareers.eu.