Training for a better future
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Transition and Recovery Programme (FTRP) is based on an iterative and solution-driven approach to addressing the issues faced by displaced people. Economic revitalization is a major focus and the Programme has completed numerous vocational and business management trainings to help returnees. One such training was in hospitality management and was organized by the Hashoo Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Its primary purpose was to develop demand-oriented skills in hotel management and create job opportunities for FATA’s youth.
Syed Asif Ali, aged 19 from Ladha, a tehsil in South Waziristan Agency was among 74 young people who successfully completed a three-month hospitality management training programme financed by the Government of the United Kingdom. The programme comprised 45 days of theoretical learning and 45 days of practical training.
Asif’s family left South Waziristan in 2007 when militancy in the area was on the rise and settled in Dera Ismail Khan. Living hand-to-mouth, the family’s only source of income was his father’s auto rickshaw.
The family’s circumstances would not permit Asif to pursue his desire for higher education. Instead, to support his family, he took a job as a waiter in a local restaurant. His monthly income of around US$ 140 helped, but was by no means sufficient. Hearing of UNDP’s training programme, he applied and was selected for training in Lahore.
Asif and other young trainees from FATA learnt about room management, setting up front offices, table set-up, housekeeping, food preparation, standard recipes and cooking methods. Sessions on life skills, entrepreneurship development and interpersonal communication skills were also part of the training programme.
All trainees completing the theoretical portion were placed in hotels around the city for hands-on experience. The programme also covered trainees’ transport, food and accommodation costs.
Asif completed his one-month hands-on training at the Best Western Hotel, Lahore. Armed with these new skills, he said, “with UNDP’s support, and after learning and polishing my skills, I am very confident that I will be able to work at any five-star hotel in Pakistan.”