Marriott Fiji Propels Talent Development and Employment Strategies

Marriott Fiji Propels Talent Development and Employment Strategies

Nadi, Fiji: The leadership team of Marriott International Fiji Hotels, presented an inaugural workshop at the end of last week with key Senior Government officials that included representatives from the Ministry of Women, Children & Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways, Ministry of Youth & Sports, Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association, Bureau of Statistics, and key leaders of major training institutions including Fiji National University. Attended by the respective Honorable Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Chief Executives and key stakeholders, the workshop centered on fostering Fijian talent development and closing prevalent employment gaps within the industry.

Central to these discussions was the pioneering work of the Fiji Marriott Training Academy (FMTA) that was established during the height of COVID19 in December 2021. The Academy, a linchpin of Marriott International Fiji Resorts, encompasses the three FNPF (Fiji National Provident Fund) owned resorts: Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, Sheraton Fiji Golf & Beach Resort, The Westin Denarau Resort and Spa as well as Sheraton Denarau Villas and Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island, Fiji.

Multi-Property Vice President Pacific Islands, Marriott International and General Manager of Sheraton & Westin Resorts – Fiji Complex, Mr. Neeraj Chadha said, “talent constraints continue to be a major challenge for all our hotels and the industry too; from entry level to supervisory and leadership roles. The Academy provides the intermediate solution to recruit local talent that are progressed through an intense 8-week training program before deployment across the four operational resorts.”

He continued, “more than 200 trainees have been trained through the various streams and to date, 188 are currently employed across all our resorts.”

Key discussions also pinpointed the need for better linkages between portfolios and the realignment of training programs offered by the various training institutions around the country to meet specific market demands of the service sector, and the integration of learning modern workforce applications.

“Theoretically, educational and training institutions will necessitate input and collaboration from industry consultants to identify areas of improvement within student curriculum including the adoption of competency-based learning methodologies. Consequently, the development of an accelerated program for graduates emerging from formal education to complement the FMTA model would be a great way to test the effectiveness of the linkages,” said Ms. Selina Kuruleca, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education.

Furthermore, outcomes from the workshop included the identification of specific niches, interests, and needs and information sharing. The workshop culminated in actionable steps for the implementation of strategies to initiate the employment advancement opportunities and skill development of local talent within Fiji.