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Developing The Ladder To Professionalism by Tom Baum, Manager, Curricula Development Unit and Patricia Reid, Training Advisor, Curricula Development Unit at the Council for Education, Recruitment and Training, State Agency for Hotels, Catering and Tourism in Dublin, Ireland: “Developments are currently in hand to promote increased professionalism in management within the hotel and catering industry in Ireland. The authors discuss the particular responsibility of educational agencies. Recent initiatives to provide a comprehensive and flexible career ladder encompassing craft training, in-service and “second-chance” education, as well as more conventional college-based initial management are reviewed, as are attempts by various industry associations to enhance the professionalism of members.”

In this discussion, the authors have primarily devoted their attention to degree gaps in professionalism in the hospitality industry, and the measures that can be taken to mitigate these circumstances.

“The hotel, catering, and tourism industry, in common with others involved in the service function, has been relatively slow to adopt modern approaches to management and technology at all levels,” Baum and Reid want you to know.

The authors hail from Ireland and point to steps that the industry, in Ireland, is taking to address service problems. “Developments are taking place in Ireland toward professionalism in management in the context of the Irish hotel and catering industry; education and educationally related institutions have taken a role in contributing to the professionalization of work in this area,” say the authors.

Baum and Reid point to CERT’s - The State Training Agency for Hotels, Catering and Tourism - involvement in promoting professionalism in the Irish hospitality industry, and provide a comprehensive graph to illustrate CERT’s paths to successful management.

Worthy of note is, proprietor management is more common on that side of the Atlantic’, with most properties tending to be smaller than U.S. chain operations. That fact, by no means suggests that management style is indeed complete in the U.K, but it can be said that maybe such style is more congenial.

“However, finding the balance between operationalism and the management and development functions seems to underpin perhaps the cardinal problems of professionalism in hotel and catering management in Ireland,” say the authors. “The dichotomy, clearly represented in the management of the industry, is equally evident within the educational and training system and also in the limited influence of associations…” Baum and Reid expand on that issue.

The authors do concede that it is difficult to quantify what exactly constitutes good professionalism in the hospitality industry; it is, after all, a fairly subjective concept. They continue by describing some of the degree and sub-degree programs being offered in Ireland.