The Restaurants Association of Ireland are delighted to announce the launch of the HERE4you Erasmus+ project. Alongside 4 European partners – Atermon B.V, Asserted Knowledge, Artesis Plantijn Hodgeschool Antwerpen and Ecocenter Alapítvány, we will be working over the next 48 months to deliver the following training programmes and resources free of charge for the hospitality industry: 

  1. Essential Skills Pack course will contain modules that will help hospitality professionals to acquire the target skills (improving English language & service skills, developing digital capabilities, and raising ecotourism awareness). 
  2. Hotel Minecraft World, enriched with resource packs and mods which will allow interactive, role-playing training. 
  3. HERE4you Interactive Map, an interactive mapping tool that will provide accommodation and ecotourism activities available in rural European areas. 
  4. An Eco-Guide which will provide interested parties (rural accommodation unit owners, NGOS, environmental organizations, SMEs) with instructions on how to use the interactive mapping tool to register and promote their business.

Why? The Need? 

The hospitality industry is a major source of revenue for Europe, offering jobs to more than 8 million EU citizens (https://bit.ly/3nynTiO) and the tourist accommodation sector’s popularity, in particular, has been steadily increasing, becoming a valuable pillar for the European economy (https://bit.ly/3jDBNPK). However, since Covid 19, this has decreased rapidly. Hospitality businesses located in rural areas were more heavily affected by this decline, as they had already been facing challenges due to many factors including limited access to training.

Now, there is a huge shortage of staff for the sector and a lack of necessary skills to perform jobs effectively. Employees need to improve the basic service skills, English language skills and digital skills for the sector to rebuild and attract customers. Businesses, employees and consumers also need to become more aware of the global environment crisis and be able to make better decisions causing less damage to the environment. 

How? 

HERE4you will encourage inclusive training focusing on hospitality employees in rural European areas. HERE4you will develop a complete, web-based training course for hospitality professionals focusing on boosting their English language and service skills, their digital competence and their environmental awareness along with creating an interactive, role-playing game environment aimed at knowledge retention and an interactive mapping tool demonstrating accommodation units and ecotourism possibilities in rural European areas accompanied by an Eco-Guide with instructions on how to use this tool to make the most out of it. 

Accommodation unit owners and employees will have access to a free, innovative, easily accessible upskilling methodology no matter their geographical location or socioeconomic education. Moreover, VET educators will possess a strong, digital training tool for providing students within the hospitality sector with hands-on, simulation-based training. 

Some of the project objectives include: 

  • Raising awareness regarding the importance of communication, service, digital and environmental training and upskilling in the hospitality sector, especially in rural European areas. 
  • Providing hospitality professionals and VET institutes with a complete, open access e-learning course, developed to pass new skills to new and existing members of the hospitality sector. 
  • Developing an alternative training approach that promotes skill retention through simulation and role playing on Minecraft. 
  • Reinforcing access to high quality, effective and inclusive training in the digital era regardless of one’s location or socioeconomic situation. 
  • Promoting ecotourism and sustainable activities in rural European areas to tourists worldwide. – Equipping hospitality professionals with the skills to advance their businesses while promoting and supporting local SMEs, rural and ecotourism centers.

In order to deliver the project results outlined above, some of the project activities will include: 

  • National reports developed by the participating countries which will work as a framework presenting best practices, weaknesses and needs for improvement as perceived by hospitality professionals in rural areas. 
  • The results will be tested first internally and then an improved version based on the results of the testing will be subjected to a series of validation activities with the involvement of representatives from the direct target group, mainly professionals in the hospitality industry, ecotourism professionals and VET instructors.
  • Based on the conclusions of the validation exercises, a final release of the results will be provided towards the end of the project. 
  • A series of Multiplier Events (5) to generate awareness about the launch of the HERE4you project. 
  • Roll out of the results

When & Where? 

The project launched in Dublin on 16th June 2022. The RAI hosted this meeting in Buswells Hotel, Dublin. The project milestones will be completed over the next 48 months and project completion envisaged for the end of May 2024. HERE4you partners will be responsible for assigned tasks within the project which will be carried out remotely and as a Team, partners will meet monthly to discuss project updates, progression, and next steps. Partners will also meet again in person during the next two transnational meetings in Rotterdam & Budapest.

The RAI are looking forward to working with the HERE4you team and industry to deliver this project. If you are a rural hospitality business operating in Ireland, please complete our training needs survey here: https://forms.gle/WiFzUYKgSTotXpJV6

More information

For more information on this project, please see here: https://here4you.erasmusplus.website/

Or contact our training manager: niamh.omalley@rai.ie