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The Kenyan government said Tuesday that it will partner with private investors to roll out new training and mentorship program for youth aspiring to work in the hospitality sector.

Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala said that skills development will be key to reinventing the tourism industry that currently contributes 12 percent to Kenya’s GDP.

“The country requires a critical mass of trained and motivated personnel to work in the rapidly evolving hospitality industry. We still have a skills gap in a sector that has attracted huge foreign direct investments lately,” Balala said.

He spoke in Nairobi during a review of the impact of a training and mentorship program for high school students keen on pursuing careers in the tourism sector.

Kenya’s ministry of tourism has partnered with the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership (GTTP) regional office to train and expose young adults to vast opportunities in hospitality industry.

Balala said Kenya aims to become a training hub for professionals in tourism sector through establishment of additional learning facilities alongside curriculum reforms.

“The second largest tertiary institution for training workers in the hospitality sector will be completed soon. Several public universities have also rolled out courses in tourism and travel to help meet a growing demand,” said Balala.

He disclosed that three major international hotel brands will soon open branches in Nairobi thanks to availability of abundant skilled workforce alongside improved investment climate.