Round table in Terrassa, Spain on 22 of May 2014
Participants have agreed that the main barrier for implementing continuous training is not having time for training programs. Working hours in the HORECA sector are very hard (even more for restaurants) and the workday is very long. Regarding to the most preferred types of training is not a matter of preference. It is just a necessity. Online courses are the most preferred, but some courses should be practical. Both hotel directors participating in the round table have exposed that they are following useful online courses on “revenue” to help taking proactive decisions to increase occupancy rates by classifying guests depending on their segment (professional, particular, tourism…) and once that is analyzed, they can fix a pricing policy in order to achieve higher occupation. This is a good example for online training, but is not useful for “cooking” courses, for example.
For the question about allergies, the President of the restaurant guild in Terrassa’s Area has explained that from the 13th December 2014, come in to force the “REGULATION (EU) No 1169/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Commission Directive 87/250/EEC, Council Directive 90/496/EEC, Commission Directive 1999/10/EC, Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Directives 2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 608/2004”. That means that restaurants should provide to its customers the information to identify clearly allergens that could be found in any meal provided by the restaurant. This is a hard matter to deal with and the knowledge about how implementing it is not very spread among the sector.
Regarding to the previous point, the participant of Terrassa’s City Council has informed that Catalonia Public Health Agency provides an accreditation that is called AMED http://www.amed.cat/es/index.php It is a program developed by the Government of Catalonia, which aims to promote Mediterranean diet as a model of healthy eating around the catering sector. It is aimed mainly at businesses that offer meals to the working population, as security for the user to eat well and healthy. Its aim is to reduce cardiovascular disease and overweight that has now been increased in our society. There are some accredited establishments and they want to spread this program to as much restaurants as possible and other sectors..
Talking about the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), it was mandatory in Spain in previous years that hotel managers should have a university degree in Tourism. This is not necessary nowadays but despite the wide offer on VET courses in our country, it misses a specific VET course for hotel manager that would be useful for small hotels or for big hotels’ manager assistants. All participants agreed that the university degree on Tourism gives significant knowledge on law, economics, business management and human resources management. The VET course should include all this matters and the best way to implement this would be DUAL VET.
• Taking into account the results obtained in the questionnaires, it would be interesting to organize training courses on ICT (digital marketing, marketing in the social networks, computer, analysis of web pages, using web 2.0);
• Although everybody admitted being able to communicate properly in at least one foreign language, it would be necessary to take into account different languages instead of English, and the approach of this learning according to sector’s needs. If they were able to communicate in other languages, the offered services would be much more appreciated;
• Finally, human resources training also would be useful. It would have to include prevention of labor risks, conditions of safe and egalitarian work and motivation of the personnel;
• Regarding the more suitable modalities of training, it is considered that all proposed training would be convenient to offer it on line, including some types of practical training, that are the more adequate modalities of training.
EUROPEAN QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK (EQF)
• The EQF is a common frame of European reference that links the systems of qualifications of the different countries members. It has two main aims: promoting the mobility of citizens between the different countries and to facilitate the permanent learning.
• The eight levels of reference are described in terms of results of the learning; and the EQF recognizes that the systems of education and European training are so diverse that needs a change in the result of learning to be able to do a comparative and can cooperate between the different countries and institutions;
• In this European frame of qualifications, knowledge is defined like a statement of what a person knows, comprises and is able to make once has concluded the process of learning. Therefore, it is centered in the results of this learning more than in other aspects like the length of the studies. The result of the learning specifies three categories: knowledge, skills and competition.
• Taking the results of learning like a common point of reference, that will facilitate the comparison and transfer of qualifications between countries, systems and institutions and will be notable for a good number of users so much to European level like national.
This common frame between the systems of qualifications of the countries will benefit:
– Supporting a greater mobility of students and workers, since it will be easier to describe the levels of competition to the persons in charge for recruitment of other countries and will help to the employers to interpret the qualifications of the applicants.
– It will complement and it will reinforce the European instruments of existent mobility, such as Europass, Erasmus and ECVET.
– Greater access and participation in the permanent learning. With the establishment of a common point of reference that will indicate that the results of the learning can combine with different configurations and will contribute to reduce the barriers between education and providers of training, or between upper education and professional training, that can work in isolation. This will promote the progression so that the students do not have to repeat learning.
• It will support people with a wide labor experience or in other fields of activity, facilitating the validation of the no formal and informal learning. The approach in the results of learning will make easier evaluating if the purchased learning in these configurations is equivalent in contents and importance like formal qualifications.
• It will support to the individual users, as well as to providers of training by means of the increase of transparency of the qualifications awarded out of the national systems, for example, by sectors and by multinational companies. The adoption of a frame of common reference on the base of the results of learning will facilitate the comparison and the potential that connects traditional qualifications awarded by the national authorities and the titles conceded by other parts interested. It will allow to the sectors and to the individuals taking advantage of this increasing internationalization of the qualifications.
• It is an ambitious instrument and of a great scope that has implications for the systems of training, the job market, the industry, the trade and the citizens.