The Erasmus + INCOME Tourism Project is organising a Webinar series on Skills for Today & Tomorrow | Tourism Education, Employability and Industry-University cooperation, as a way to contribute to the discussion and reflection about the challenges the sector is going through. Professionals need to have relevant skills in times of rapid change, and that is why it is even more critical now to discuss how can Industry-University cooperation initiatives, namely dual education systems, answer these quests.
In this context, soft skills, just as digital skills, are highly relevant to tourism businesses’ performance and competitiveness. Given the present global-wide crisis, universities need to adapt their curricula and learning approaches to adapt to the market needs, tackling the competencies young professionals need to succeed in the job market.
In this regard, and although some good examples can be found, there is still the need and potential to bring academia and industry together, building new cooperative learning models to develop curricula focusing on employability skills and with learning outcomes adapted to the real, evolving, and demanding needs of the tourism industry.
The INCOME Tourism Project is addressing these challenges, proposing a new learning approach, linked to the development of soft skills, and based on a cooperative learning process that brings together higher education institutions and businesses in the tourism industry.
The project consortium – made up of 13 partner organisations based in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Germany, Croatia, and the Netherlands – therefore recognises the need and the opportunity to include the development of soft skills into higher education curricula and to strongly cooperate with businesses to ensure that learning opportunities in the ‘real’ world are provided to tourism students. This will guarantee the enhancement of skills in future and current working staff.
The target audience for the webinar series comprises of tourism students and professionals, employers, educators, and government officials.