The tourism sector has a great potential to boost employment and economic growth in Albania and thus to contribute to the reduction of unemployment. In order to make use of this potential increasing the quality of tourism services was defined by the Government as one of the four country development priorities.
The “AL-Tour” Project has been funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation and co-funded and implemented by the OeAD, Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalisation, during the years 2016-2020. In close cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training and with the local NGO “Partners for Children” “AL-Tour” generated a significant impact on Albania’s vocational education and training system.
Project impact and achievements
Having as direct beneficiaries all 11 Albanian VET tourism schools, 4 dormitories and two vocational training centres for adults as well as the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training, the “AL-Tour” project reached about 188 school principals and teachers of vocational education subjects, 21 internship coordinators, 30 dormitory staff, around 2500 students, 50 trainers and about 73 businesses.
- Gender-sensitive occupational standards for five occupations in this sector have been developed and introduced;
- Gender sensitive qualification descriptions that correspond to the Albanian National Qualifications Framework and curricula have been developed and implemented;
- Competence for the sustainable introduction of the new curriculum and for the implementation of gender-sensitive teaching has been created at all tourism schools;
- Capacity development of teachers from 11 VET tourism schools to comprehend and implement the curricula has been increased;
- Four dormitories are used as “Teaching Hotel Light”;
- Quality criteria and guidelines for company internships have been developed and introduced, and access to internships for disadvantaged students has been increased;
- Internship coordinators at all tourism schools have been established and trained.
Students’ success stories
Eriglant Zylyftari: Driven by passion towards a promising future
Eriglant Zylyftari studied at the “Isuf Gjata” school in Korca from 2015 to 2019 in the hospitality and tourism branch. In the course of studying in this school, thanks to his passion and the support of the teachers of the practical subjects, he conducted an internship in one of the most successful businesses in the city of Korca, the five-star hotel “Life Gallery”.
During the internship his skills were instantly spotted by the business owners and Eriglant has been offered a full-time job position upon graduation. He is currently continuing to work in a satisfactory job position in the same business.
“Now I realise that the hardest part was making the decision while success is simply perseverance and faith’’ – says Eriglant – “I feel honoured every time the school invites me to conduct open lessons with students in the kitchen and in the restaurant’”.
Klaudja Avdulla: Equal Opportunities
Klaudja Avdulla is a student of the 13th grade at the “Isuf Gjata” school in Korca. She chose the hospitality and tourism branch because of her passion for cooking.
“Being a girl with special abilities has not prevented me from being involved in the learning process or in any school activity. My school gave me the opportunity to feel equal to my classmates” – says Klaudja.
The internships at the “Grand Hotel” in the city centre gave her the confidence to pursue her dream.
Klaudja’s mother, Mrs. Albana, affirms: “I am very satisfied with the progress of my daughter. The friendly climate and conditions created by the school increase our confidence that Klaudja’s future is going to be bright”.
Xhenita Kamberi: Searching for a better future
Xhenita Kamberi is a student of the 12th grade in the hospitality and tourism branch at the “Antoni Athanas” School in Saranda. She comes from a low-income family from a village near Permet city and decided to leave home in order to pursue her studies in tourism in Saranda. Xhenita is now employed at the “Classic Bar” in Saranda as a waitress while continuing to pursue her studies that will equip her with fundamental new skills and knowledge for her future in the tourism sector.
“Vocational Education was the best choice I have made in my life” – says Xhenita – “Since the very first year of my studies I received the necessary knowledge and skills to start a job and provide enough income for myself and my family. Thanks to the support from the “AL-Tour” project the newly equipped labs in my school have enabled me to practise everything I learned. Therefore I feel very comfortable while using all equipment of the restaurant and bar at my work place”.
Ruzhdin Birbili: Right choices provide a successful life path
Ruzhdin Birbili is a former student of the “Antoni Athanas” School in Saranda who graduated in 2019 in the Hospitality and Tourism branch. With the support of his teachers and the opportunity to practise in the new kitchen and restaurant labs he was able do internships and adapt very well to the needs of the local businesses.
“I was very young when I decided to attend a vocational school and I never imagined to get so far in my life” – says Ruzhdin – “I am so grateful and lucky to have created for myself a job that I love and I am ready to succeed in my career”.
Ruzhdin is employed as a cook in a very successful business in Tirana, the “Colosseo Hotel”, and his ambition drives him to grow further professionally.