Hospitality Employment: Policies and Practices in Hotels in Kenya
Eusabia Bosibori Ondieki, Samson Kuria Kung’u

A study on Kenya’s hospitality industry indicates that, about 64 percent of jobs are either semi skilled or unskilled. This comprises of about 6 percent in managerial, 8 percent in supervisory, 22 percent with craft while the remaining are unskilled as indicated in figure 4.2. The, low skills profile of jobs results to low status, low pay and poor working conditions in tourism and hospitality industry. Contrary to this, managers in the hospitality industry value practical and operational skills as well as on-job training, which may be acquired easily within the workplace. The ILO (2001) report concludes that, a formal qualification from new entrants is not highly regarded within the hospitality industry. The assumptions of tourism and hospitality jobs being unskilled or semi skilled may be attributable to the circular logic used rather than empirical measurement of the skills requirement of tourism and hospitality jobs. In Kenya, the hospitality sector alone catered for over 509,000 jobs in 2007, a ten percent of total employment. Despite such impressive figures, this industry has been faced with the challenge of high labour turnover for a long period. This paper is based on research findings completed in April 2011. One of the purpose of the study was to determine employees’ turnover with regard to policies and practices in three to five star-rated hotels in Nairobi, City.

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