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BILT Expert Group releases preliminary results

Since its kick-off meeting on 17 March 2023, the BILT Expert Group on the dual transition in the hospitality and tourism sector has held four partner meetings, including one hybrid session on the first day of the BILT bridging conference on TVET for hospitality and tourism: Solutions for the digital and green transition.

During the event, which was held at Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore from 26 to 28 June, the Expert Group presented preliminary results of their work to the TVET community on-site and online. This included a summary of current green and digital trends in the hospitality and tourism sector and the skills needs arising from them.

Green and digital trends

Digital trends revolve around new technologies and the use thereof which can be structured into three categories:

  • addressing problems, e.g., the labour shortage and the inefficient use of energy
  • facilitating processes, e.g., through the use of big data and the platform economy, and
  • enhancing experiences, e.g., through apps, virtual reality and 3D-printing
Green trends in hospitality and tourism are mainly the response to climate change and the unsustainable utilization of limited resources. These challenges lead to adaptation and innovation, which require the hospitality and tourism sector to embrace improved resource efficiency. Specific topics of interest are low or zero impact on ecosystems (e.g., ‘green tourism’ and ‘regenerative tourism’); green growth; strengthening of cultural heritage; energy efficiency and renewable energy; reduction of food waste and single use plastics; smart mobility and hospitality buildings.

Skills needs

New green and digital skills are necessary to keep up with technological and regulatory changes, to address climate change and to satisfy the needs of the 21st century customer. TVET can support the dual transition in the hospitality and tourism sector by providing new competencies (i.e. knowledge, skills and attitudes) related to new or adapted processes, materials, tools and offers.

Another dimension is the different contexts a skill needs to be applied in, ranging from similar situations to everchanging environments. This illustrates why transversal skills, such as creative thinking, problem solving, transdisciplinary thinking, adaptability and learning agility have gained prominence next to technical skills.

Recommendations for the dual transition

The BILT bridging conference also served as an opportunity to introduce the recommendations structured according to the Three I’s approach. For the identification and integration of new green and digital skills, the members of the Expert Group highlighted the importance of industry involvement to better understand which competencies are needed in the world of work.

BILT Expert Group at Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore

Regarding the implementation of new green and digital skills, Expert Group members suggested lean and pragmatic processes where new skills and competencies are integrated into curricula without the need for complete revisions.

New skills and competencies should also be generic to remain valid for a longer duration despite rapid technological change. There should be sufficient room for TVET providers to create their own training programmes and address local needs.

Innovative practices

Participants of the conference also learned about six innovative practices from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe, that had been selected from over 30 submissions by the members of the BILT Expert Group. The innovative practices highlighted ways in which TVET providers implement green and digital skills, thus supporting learners and workers in developing the relevant new competencies – be it through initial training or lifelong learning.

Looking ahead

In the upcoming months, the Expert Group will continue working on a synthesis report. With inputs from the three BILT regions, the report will give an overview of skills needs that arise from the green and digital transformation in the tourism and hospitality sector and how they can be tackled by macro, meso or micro level stakeholders of the TVET system. The report will include several examples of innovative practices.

If you wish to learn more or contribute to the work of the BILT Expert Group, please contact us at unevoc.bilt(at)unesco.org or follow UNESCO-UNEVOC on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

This Expert Group is led by SFUVET, Switzerland, a UNEVOC Centre

with support of EHT, Cambodia, and BIHC, Kenya, as Co-Leads

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