Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has announced plans to upskill over 2,000 individuals in the hospitality sector to elevate industry standards.
The training will be provided under the Diageo Bar Academy, a global program that benchmarks international best practices to enhance the skills and competencies of both hospitality staff and management to drive better guest experiences.
The program will target both business owners and their employees including; managers, bartenders, mixologists, baristas, waiters, and waitresses with the training covering various modules on behind-the-bar skills, hospitality essentials, international best practices and emerging trends, improving operational efficiency and driving business profitability.
While unveiling the program in Kampala, Agaba Tumusiime, the reserve brands ambassador at UBL said this initiative will play a role towards boosting the hospitality industry by influencing better guest experiences which will directly result in higher consumer participation and higher revenues earned by businesses and consequently by the economy.
“The hospitality sector is one of the biggest employers in the country. With the increased number of young people joining the labour market year. Supporting business growth and stimulating entrepreneurship in this highly viable sector is critical to economic growth. With this training, UBL is providing opportunities for young to achieve gainful employment within the hospitality industry which is one of the highest contributors to GDP before the pandemic. We believe this will over time improve the quality of life of beneficiaries by enhancing their capability to earn a living," Agaba said.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism and hospitality sector contributed 7.7 per cent of GDP with earnings of Shs 41.6 billion. According to the ministry of Tourism, the tourism and hospitality sector accounts for nearly 667,000 staff - with 90 per cent in the hospitality sector contributing 6.7 per cent of total national employment.
“We start with training bar owners and managers, then we shall do on premise trainings, where will shall be going to selected bars, restaurants and hotels and train their entire staff to help them optimize their operations and improve the way they provide services to customers. We shall also have town hall trainings where we shall gather employers from various hospitality facilities in a centrally located training facility whereby we will take them though the content of the Diageo Bar Academy program and cocktail demonstration trainings,” Agaba added.
“This country is currently grappling with various economic shocks that have resulted in a tough operating environment. This situation comes on the heels of the pandemic that resulted in business closure for a period close to 2 years. This is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting business recovery and survival,” said Agaba.
Under the same program, UBL has partnered with Light of the World International to extend skilling and training to people living with disabilities with the hope of having them absorbed into the hospitality sector for job opportunities.
“We seek and strive for inclusion and diversity and this program will extend training to persons with disabilities, youth and women as we aim to create a more inclusive and sustainable world.”
Eligible persons to take part are employees currently working in different hospitality facilities like bars, hotels, clubs, and restaurants. Members of the Bar Tenders Association of Uganda, an umbrella association of employers and employees in the bar industry are also automatically eligible to enroll for this program.