VIRTUAL ON THE JOB TRAINING IN TOURISM SECTOR

Project number : 2020-1-PL01-KA226-HE-095877

Programme: Erasmus+

Contact: Aleksandra Marcinkowska office@edusmart-tc.net

VIRTUAL ON THE JOB TRAINING

IN TOURISM SECTOR

The project is inspired by two factors in recent months caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed long-term challenges to universities and requires solutions at the level of creating digital solutions. Currently, almost all universities in Europe are trying to fulfil their educational goals by pursuing program paths in a remote or hybrid mode. So far, such solutions have not been used in the practical part of higher education. The pandemic prevented the implementation of student apprenticeships as part of the curriculum. Many hotels and eateries have been closed, and placement hours in hotels or restaurants in the current global pandemic situation are risky, or even as a result of temporary regulations in various countries – prohibited.
As a result, students studying in tourism and gastronomic areas have a limited opportunity to acquire practical skills. Air traffic, which is suspended in many directions, in many cases also makes it impossible to practice abroad. In addition, the selection of tourist destinations is driven by the need to support the HORECA industry, which has received a strong impact as a result of COVID-19. According to the estimates of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), due to the pandemic, in 2020 there is a decrease in tourist travel by approx. 60 – 80%. HORECA in the face of recovering from the crisis will need well-educated and skilled workers,
prepared for a changing reality and additional restrictions, rules that may remain in the industry even after the pandemic ends.

In the project, partners from Poland (leader), Italy, Sweden and Ireland will develop a methodological guide for placements in the HORECA industry for professionals that work directly with students. The methodology of online student placements will emphasise, in addition to industry competences, social, interpersonal, organization and conceptual competences, which, additionally through situations such as lockdown and cutting off individual social processes, are becoming a growing problem in the economy. The flexibility of curricula, including placement programs, is a necessary factor to implement in the online sphere as counteracting low-quality education processes in the pandemic era.

A 14-DAY PATH WILL BE CREATED FOR STUDENT PRACTICE IN 3 VERSIONS. There will be three model places for online student placements based on scenarios, case studies and educational materials. Taking into account the experience of the university and the national specificity, each model will represent a different tourist destination:

-Sweden: cultural tourism and ecotourism
-Italy: mass tourism, leisure tourism
-Poland: city-business and health tourism

Partners will develop multimedia student placements in the form of a web application. The proposed form of gamification will motivate students to implement online internships and increase their willingness to act and gain knowledge. The developed solution will constitute an innovation in higher education.

The scope of the project is in line with the strategy and mission of partners in the field of education in higher education. The dissemination of the project’s results will play a crucial role in achieving the project’s objectives in all dimensions from local to European. The project partners will very carefully prepare a dissemination strategy to ensure that it adequately and directly corresponded to the intended activities and ensured appropriate reaching the target groups, including, in particular, the emphasis on promotion developed solutions at universities and educational institutions organizing placement hours and apprenticeships for students.

The project assumes the development of universal results on a European scale, at least.