STA – Induction of 2023 cohort |21 February 2023
Some 250 students to start courses this year
This year, the Seychelles Tourism Academy’s (STA) new cohort of students is expected to be around 250 in different courses from certificate to diploma level.
The prospective students and their parents were convened yesterday at the International Conference Centre Seychelles to follow an induction process.
During the presentation, the students learned what STA is all about, information relating to academic life, student support services, and the institution’s code of conduct.
This exercise is mainly to prepare both students and parents for what the academy offers, their responsibilities and what the academy will expect from them when they join.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, first of all congratulated the students on accepting to study at the institution, and further shared that in Seychelles there are many opportunities in the tourism industry.
“We want Seychellois to provide the services to the public. It will not be possible to have all the Seychellois workers in this industry but eventually I would like to see that most posts are occupied by Seychellois,” he said.
Pursuing a career in the tourism industry is not easy, said the minister.
“Tourism is not an 8am to 4pm job, Monday to Friday. It is a 24-hour job. Most of us who have worked in this industry know how challenging this is. We have guests and we need to take care of them as they have a lot of expectations, and we should not disappoint them.”
“There are many possibilities to advance your career in this industry and most of the hotels on our islands are being managed by expatriates. The conversation we are having with our stakeholders is in the same direction. We need Seychellois to own this industry. Stay the course, stay focused as in life there are challenges always. I am excited for you as it is an exciting career. Tourism brings money to our country and supports us. Whenever there is an issue, address them instead of quitting,” he added.
Following the address of the minister, the director of STA, Terrence Max, also emphasised on the importance of respecting the code of conduct of the Academy and for the students to focus on their studies, even if the academy may not have been their first choice.
“We are aware that some of the students have not made their final choice yet. STA is a stage and our priority is to develop the young people and make them stay in the industry. Our success is when majority of our students’ form part of the tourism Industry,” Mr Max said.
“Our code of conduct at STA is very important and we make sure the youth abide by them – this is mainly regarding grooming and the way to behave. We really hope that they keep following the same standards when they join the workforce. And unfortunately we do not have control on that once they leave the academy,” explained Mr Max.
Every year the recruitment at STA is around 240 to 250 students.
Since last year STA is working closely with the district administrations and hotel owners to encourage their staff to take up apprenticeships.
“We are making an effort to bring this idea to Praslin which will also cater for La Digue and we hope to have more people coming forward. This year, we got mostly students who chose STA as their first choice.”
Regarding the uniforms of the students which are quite costly, Mr Max stated that the student allowance is being determined by the government.
“STA acknowledges that there are some students who might have difficulty, and we do give some facilities to pay for their uniforms by monthly installments,” he added.
STA also has a percentage of mature students every year, and also offers the in-service programme, mainly on Saturdays, for whoever wants to upgrade their skills.
The director of STA concluded by stating his team is a group of experts who can provide the knowledge upon demand of the industry.
“This industry is dynamic where new situations develop every day. That is why we are working together with the department of Tourism, the Ministry of Education with the Lospitalite Tourism Club. We are working with the children and want to have a proper chain to follow up with them until they are well informed and want to join the industry. STA will also think of having tourism as a subject in the schools. Our vision is great at STA and we want to become an academy recognised in the region and also attracts foreign students,” he added.
During the meeting, the students and parents were given an overview of STA by the deputy director and other heads of department.
Before the registration of students, the chairman of the governing board of STA, Derek Barbe, also addressed the students.
The induction meeting was also attended by the principal secretary for Tourism, Sherin Francis.
Photos by Joena Meme