Sri Lanka leisure group in training venture

Oct 12, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings has tied up with local and foreign training outfits to train staff for its hotels after the end of a war led to a boom in arrivals. The group has tied up with the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management based in Dubai and is also working with the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM).

The aim is to train youth who will then be hired by the group’s hotels, said Jayantissa Kehelpannala, sector head of Sri Lankan Resorts of John Keells Hotels, a group subsidiary.

Roshan Gurusinghe, senior vice president of JKH in charge of human resources, said about 400 of its staff had been send to Dubai for training so far.

The company invested about 40 million rupees on training last year and expects to spend the same or a bit more this year, he told LBO.

The tie up with the Sri Lanka hotel school is aimed at training local youth from areas where the company has its hotels and then hiring them.

“We’re taking people from the area and give them a basic training, we pay for the training and then we give them jobs,” Gurusinghe said.

The hotel industry in the island is facing a shortage of skilled