The Mexican tourism industry will demand qualified personnel
During the next season, a recovery of the economy in the country is expected and companies in the tourism sector will have to reinforce their workforce
The Covid-19 pandemic affected individuals and organizations around the world, and its effects will be apparent in the years to come. In Mexico, GDP fell almost 9% last year, poverty rose 54% (about 10.6 million people entered a situation of poverty and 9.2 million in extreme poverty, according to the Research Institute for Development with Equity) and the nation's largest companies saw their profits and the value of their assets decline. The tourism sector, one of the most affected globally and locally, did not escape this reality.
Due to the pandemic, the first ten months of 2021 the country registered a loss of more than 11 million international travelers compared to the same period in 2019. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), Mexico suffered a fall of 30.6 per percent in the entry of international tourists, the second worst for the first 10 months of a year since the INEGI has registered.
Although vaccination is advancing and the flow of tourists is normalizing, the losses were considerable: between January and October of this year, foreign exchange income from tourism fell 23.2 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, a cut higher than those four billion dollars. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Mexico could close the year with an entry of 31 million international tourists, 14 million less than in 2019.
However, in the midst of this scenario, an inevitable recovery of the economy is expected, and many students, technicians and professionals are wondering how to enter the job market and improve their employability.
In 2020, the pandemic caused a worsening of problems in the labor market, including precariousness, inequity and the widening of technological and salary gaps. Although unemployment went from its threshold of 3% to almost 5% in the strictest months of confinement, in March of this year it stabilized at 4.4%: in other words, approximately 4 out of every 100 Mexicans are in active job search and has not found it.
The pandemic accelerated the need for new skills in the job market. One of the alternatives that have emerged recently to improve the employability of people are the BTEC qualifications, very common in Europe and already offered in several Latin American countries, including Mexico.
The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) are high-quality practical qualifications that emphasize skills for rapid entry into the job market and provide international recognition. Its contents are co-designed with leading companies, validating the job skills currently in high demand, suitable for the service sector, industry or technology, among others. For example, a student can obtain recognition with the endorsement of companies such as Marriot, McDonald's, the Liverpool football club, Hilton, Air France, BMW, Jaguar, The British Esports Association, Comau, among others, through a BTEC certificate .
BTECs are available by labor sectors, such as Art and Design, Business and Administration, Construction, Agriculture, Health, Computer Science, Innovation, Engineering, Tourism, Food, Transportation, Operations and Maintenance, Energy, Work Skills, among others. .
“At a time when millions of people are looking for a quick job opportunity, tools such as BTEC are an excellent option, since they are short training sessions, but with the endorsement of internationally recognized companies that participate in the design of their content. BTECs function as a link between academic training and job opportunities, as their programs are designed to meet the demand for specific skills required by, for example, a hotel chain, an inbound tour operator, or a dedicated small business. to adventure tourism, just to mention examples of tourism, a very important sector for the Mexican economy, ”explains Angélica López, Pearson's Senior Coordinator for WFS products in LATAM.
Precisely tourism -which until before the pandemic represented 8% of the Mexican GDP- is the specialty area of two new BTEC certifying centers in Mexico, focused on the qualifications of Travel and Tourism (travel and tourism) and Skills for work ( Workskills).
In addition to English -almost exclusive for serving international tourists- some of the course contents are, for example, Understanding the tourism sector; Understanding the effects of nature and its effects on international travel; Understanding of customer service in tourism; Development of the tourism sector; Development of customer service skills in tourism; Turistic marketing; Airline and airport exploration.