The work of the HITT programme in Benin is concerned primarily with providing market-led vocational training to informal workers attached to two occupations: food & beverage servers, and cooks. Originally, five occupations were identified as being possible target occupations, but this was narrowed down to two because of constraints on resources. For each occupation, two training models have been developed. By focusing on developing and implementing effective training material for these two occupations, HITT will directly impact one thousand beneficiaries.

The new type of short, high impact training HITT Benin wished to provide initially led to delays in curriculum development, but through cooperation with the HITT Global Team, high quality materials have been successfully produced. Currently, accreditation is being sought from local authorities, and an increased availability of human resources has meant that trainings are moving ahead swiftly, with a target of 50% of beneficiaries trained by the end of July 2013.

These beneficiaries will be empowered to capitalise on the opportunities presented by Benin’s growing tourism sector through applying the skills they learn to provide high quality service in return for better pay and conditions. Below are summaries of the types of workers who participate in each training model, and some of the skills they should take away from these. For more information on the specific training content, please refer to the ‘Curriculum & Training’ page.

Graduate Food & Beverage Servers, Model 1: These beneficiaries will be fresh graduates from hospitality schools who are looking to find employment through waitering/waitressing in restaurants, bars and hotels. The training provided by HITT Benin will develop their skills further, also giving them an understanding of the market that will enable them to find employment through identifying where/which skills are in demand.

Casual Food & Beverage Servers, Model 3: These workers will be sourced through hotel and restaurant databases, and will already have completed some hospitality training. HITT Benin will give these beneficiaries access to formal training where they otherwise could not have accessed this. Through increasing their competency, with emphasis on excellence of service, these workers will be better equipped to find employment.

Graduate Cooks, Model 2: These beneficiaries will be unemployed recent graduates of cooking schools. The training provided by HITT Benin will encourage a professional attitude to work through concern for food safety and hygiene, enhancing their employability.

Small-Restaurant Cooks, Model 4: These workers will also be unemployed graduates of cooking schools, but will be headed for work in smaller family-run restaurants that may demand a more wide-ranging skill set. Training in activities from menu design to table cleaning and preparation to cooking of the dishes themselves will enable beneficiaries to work well in a small restaurant setting, either on an employed or self-employed basis.

For all trainings, there will be equal gender representation among the beneficiaries, their age will vary between 18 and 45, and they will be literate, to varying degrees.

In completing its work, HITT Benin has formed two major partnerships, with FODEFCA and ECOBENIN. See below for brief summaries of who these partners are, and what their partnership with HITT Benin entails.

FODEFCA

FODEFCA (Fonds de Developpement de la Formation Professionelle Continue et de l’Apprentissage) was established in 1999, and seeks to develop human resources for the private and informal sectors, fighting unemployment and promoting competitiveness.

From the beginning of the programme, FODEFCA has shared its expertise with HITT Benin through the allocation of TVET expert. Progress has been monitored and reflected on by FODEFCA, and HITT Benin highly values the ideas and solutions presented by this partner.

ECOBENIN

ECOBENIN (Benin Eco-tourism Concern) is a Beninoise NGO that looks to promote ecotourism and local development in Benin, advocating ‘responsible human development, equality and solidarity’. Since its establishment in 1999, ECOBENIN has worked across the country in a range of settings, with projects varying from culture conservation to rehabilitating farms to providing training to homestay operators.

ECOBENIN provided strong support for HITT at the beginning of the programme, and is involved in the monitoring and evaluation system this year.