Universal Foundation in association with Villa College commenced a short course on hospitality aimed for the Maldivian youth.
Universal Foundation is a non-profit organisation that operates in the Maldives, which was founded by Universal Enterprises. The company is amongt the top resort developers in the country, and they own and operate the largest resort collection in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony held at Hotel Jen in capital Male on Sunday, the chairman of Universal Enterprises Mohamed Umar Manik said that the company’s aim is to recruit more local citizens to the tourism industry in the Maldives.
“The tourism industry in the Maldives is where it is today because of the hard work of a lot of people. Today’s youth are very lucky to be able to work in this modernised era of tourism,” Manik said.
“Other companies should also initiate more programmes like as it will benefit the whole tourism industry in the Maldives in the long run.”
Speaking about the course, Universal Foundation’s chair Iyaz Waheed said that the students who participate in the six-month course will be awarded a certificate when they complete the course.
Waheed also said that since the Universal Foundation was founded in 2013, they have provided scholarships and funding for over 100 students wanting to pursue higher education in different fields. The foundation has produced over 30 local doctors, he added.
“We’ve conducted many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes over the years too. We assisted in initiating Maldives Red Crescent’s ambulance service programme. We were also a part of Tiny Heart’s annual camp,” Waheed elaborated on the company’s work.
Villa College’s rector Dr Ali Najeeb also spoke in Sunday’s ceremony. He said that he is confident that the students who complete the programme will graduate with a realistic understanding of what it would be like to work in the tourism industry.
“Students will spend most of their training time at the resorts. By the time they are done with their programme, they will be ready for employment. Any student who is genuinely interested will excel,” Dr Najeeb said.
Tourism minister Mohamed Zameer also took part in the ceremony. He called the short course initiated by the Universal Foundation a “step forward” for the Maldivian tourism industry and urged other organisations to develop similar schemes.
Students who complete the programme will be eligible for Level-4 courses offered at Villa College. Thereafter, students can apply for relevant undergraduate courses.