HITT in Mozambique
As part of the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation’s wider work in Mozambique in the areas of agriculture, water sanitation, renewable energy and hygiene, HITT Mozambique is working to provide vocational training for informal workers in the tourism industry to enable them to capitalise on the opportunities presented by this growing market.Communication with the SNV network and HITT programmes working in other countries has allowed HITT Mozambique to develop high quality training materials, with a determined focus on equipping informal workers with the skills to lift themselves out of poverty.
Known locally as the ‘Moçambique Hospitaleiro’ (Hospitable Mozambique) Initiative, HITT Mozambique has succeeded in creating an open and translatable brand that appeals to the government and private sectors, as well as beneficiaries. Characterised by openness and positivity, the work of HITT Mozambique has been received well in a country intent on developing its tourism industry in order to reap the rewards. There is strong demand for the vocational training provided by HITT Mozambique.
Having recently completed its first year of implementation (January 2013), the focus has been on establishing strong partnerships with relevant stakeholders, on the development of high quality training materials, and on the training of trainers for upcoming work amongst three target occupation groups identified. These occupation groups are:
– Arts and Handicrafts Sellers
– Food / Beverage Sellers and Cooks
– Taxi and Moto Taxi Drivers (often engaged in informal tour guiding)
Below are summaries of why these occupations were chosen, the current situation of informal workers in these occupations, and the impact that vocational training provided by HITT Mozambique will have.
Arts and Handicrafts Sellers
This occupation was chosen as the workers are engaged in informal tourism-related work, often have few or no educational qualifications, and regularly have numerous dependents. It is dominated by adult men and male youths, about half of whom are self-employed. As well as selling crafts, most are also engaged in making them. Their income is very low (averaging just over $200 per month) and unstable as tourism is seasonal and competition is tough. Beneficiaries in this occupation will take seven modules provided by HITT Mozambique, which will enable them to present themselves well, communicate effectively with customers, and exercise basic business management skills. For the beneficiary, this will mean increase sales and greater income stability. On a wider scale, overall receptiveness to tourism will be enhanced, with tourists enjoying their interactions with arts and handicrafts sellers more, leading to growth in the tourism industry.
Food / Beverage Sellers and Cooks
HITT Mozambique identified this a target occupation as workers in this occupation are predominantly informal, regularly exposed to tourists, and have the potential to improve their income significantly through developing greater skills in catering to tourists. The majority of these workers are adult women and female youths, and while they are usually better educated than Arts and Handicrafts sellers, they are rarely highly educated. The situation of informal food / beverage sellers and cooks is often static, with little prospect of expansion for greater profits because microfinance is difficult to access and saving is nigh on impossible at an income of just over $300 a month, often with numerous dependents. Beneficiaries in this occupation will take six modules provided by the HITT programme that will equip them with skills to increase sales and exercise basic business management. Furthermore, lessons in personal and food hygiene, as well as food safety, will give tourists greater confidence in purchasing from these sellers. The overall impact will be that interactions with tourists will be improved, and that informal workers in this occupational group will be empowered to spend or save an increased disposable income, as entrepreneurial plans are brought within reach.
Taxi and Moto Taxi Drivers
An occupational group identified by meetings of the Steering Committees in Maputo and Inhambane, informal taxi and moto taxi drivers regularly interact with tourists in Mozambique’s cities, often playing the role of informal tour guide. This group are rarely equipped for this secondary role, but the opportunity is there to greatly increase their earning through providing a high quality customer experience. HITT Mozambique has prepared five modules that will enable these workers to present themselves well, communicating effectively with tourists to deliver insight into local culture and heritage – a product worth much more than a ride from A to B. This will naturally lead to income rises and greater independence for beneficiaries, as well as a strengthening of Mozambique’s ability to receive tourists well.
To achieve its aims, HITT Mozambique is working in partnership with the National Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (INEFP), with the support of the Maputo Council Municpality (CMM), the Inhambane Council Muncipality (CMI) and the Ministry of Tourism.
INEFP provides professional training and employment for young people. It has adapted its regular programmes to shorter, more demand-driven courses in Inhambane, a major tourism destination. INEFP is currently decentralizing its way of working so it can better meet local demands, strengthen its local teams and be more flexible and proactive in terms of partnerships and resources. Head of training Francisco Jovo says INEFP’s goal is to take the lead in the HITT programme and work together with TVET providers to develop training curriculums for tourism workers.