Playing mentor: The Tata Steel Rural Development Society office at Northern Town on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Can someone who worries about two square meals a day start arranging silver cutlery for fine dining? Yes, it’s called gate-crashing into the Great Hospitality Dream.
Some of Kolhan’s poorest youths will land jobs in the Taj group of hotels. If not that, they will be equipped with skills for employment in the luxury hospitality sector.
Asia’s largest hospitality enterprise and Tata Group member company The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) — with luxury hotels, resorts and palaces under the Taj brand — is tying up with Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai, to set up a cutting-edge residential hospitality training centre at Kolebira, Seraikela-Kharsawan, some 30km from Jamshedpur.
The centre will train needy matriculates of East and West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan for jobs in the hospitality sector.
“The idea is to help poor youths of Kolhan to get jobs in a booming service sector,” Tata Steel chief corporate sustainability services Biren Bhuta said.
“We are hoping the centre starts operating from August,” said Deepak S. Bhatia, a senior IHCL executive, in Jamshedpur to chalk out modalities of the project at Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS).
Courses will range from soft skills — spoken English, personality development, communication — to bakery, F&B management and other specialised topics.
To get the project going on the ground, the IHCL has roped in Pratham, one of the largest NGOs working in the education sector for underprivileged children, to provide faculty for vocational training. The TSRDS will provide the base infrastructure.
Bhatia said the centre would offer two courses each of three months’ duration.
Four NGOs in and around Kolhan — TSRDS, Socio-economic and Education Development Society (SEEDS), Technology Resource and Communication Service Centre and Paryavaran Chetna Kendra — have selected 300 students, 150 in each course.
“Hospitality skills training and a foundation course for employment are basics. In the first, students will learn English, computers, personality development, communication and relevant hospitality skills. In the second, they will learn only English and computers. Aspirants can enrol for either one or both the courses,” said Bhatia.
On the cards are courses on food, beverages, confectionery production and others.
“A course of this stature with hostel facilities will cost a student no less than Rs 15,000. But funding from Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and TSRDS have helped us keep the fee at Rs 1,000 per student, which he will pay after the course,” said Bhatia.
There’s a clause in fine print. If a student manages to get a job himself, he will pay only Rs 1,000. But if the IHCL employs him in any of its hotels, he has to pay up Rs 1,000 more.
Many will doubtless prefer the second. After all, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces are at some of the most scenic places in the world. There are 93 hotels in 55 locations across India and 16 international ones — in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, the UK, the US, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and West Asia.