“Elite Travel Group has always wanted to be up to date and bring innovation to the field of tourism. Based on personal interest, but also on an insurmountable study of the situation in the country, we developed the vision that Albania had and continues to have a great need for investment in vocational education.
I say vision for two reasons. First, the need made people aware of this important aspect of the market and secondly, we have been the first to persistently propose the introduction of ‘Dual System’ in the education system, a system that starts at high school then followed at university.
There are no students not to have talent and skills. They should only be advised and directed in such a way as to explore their talent free and securely. I believe that cooperation with the vocational school ‘Salih Ceka’ is successful precisely thanks to the guideline we provide for students and the common desire to be progressive.”
Elvis Kotherja, General Manager of ELITE TRAVEL GROUP
How did cooperation begin?
This cooperation cannot be redeemed without first recognizing the twenty-one-year tradition of Elite Travel Group in the field of tourism. In 2013 the vision for the introduction of the dual system into the education system was readily accepted as an important requirement for the development of vocational education. In 2019 Elite Travel Group is contacted and held talks with the School Business Coordinator, Julian Kasapi (ICT profile teacher). Talks took place on the line of vocational practices (Law on vocational education, Instruction 14, March 2020) in business. An agreement was reached (20 February 2021) and at first 34 students became part of these practices, then 46, 70 and this number gets bigger by the day.
At the time the school offered to students the profiles of Hotels and Tourism, Textile-Confusions, Thermohydraulic Systems Installer, ICT, Economics-Business, Wood Processing. Practices near Elite Travel Group initially began in Hotels and Tourism of in the Tourist Guide profile and TIK direction (programming, graphic design). Profile Services on Travel and Tourism have then been added (H-T) and Digital Marketing Profile (ICT).
This collaboration has flourished over time, strengthening friendship and collaboration between the school and Elite Travel Group. This relationship has served the community by creating new jobs and training future professionals. The common vision between the two structures has led to the creation and implementation of traditions and projects of value and importance. Four school students have been employed by Elite Travel Group, a fact that we feel good and hopeful about integrating young people into the market.
The climate created by the development of practices paved the way for the development of a number of different trainings related directly to student training: Programming, Web Full-Stack Page Development, Graphic Design, Digital Management, Tourist Operator, Touristic Agent. These training has been done in collaboration with Elite Academy, the company’s academy, which aims to educate and train young people.
In addition to ongoing training, in cooperation with the company, the school has several times visited the business where students have closely affected the experience of working in the premises and with the demands of Elite Travel Group. Also, cooperation has also continued in the joint promotion of the school to grade 7-9 students, as partners, with a genuine marketing strategy.
Introduction to Python Coding (22 January 2022) – this training regarding programming with Python had “Salih Ceka” and the Pre-University Education Office of Elbasan as co-working partners. A really fantastic experience that brought together girl students from the nine-year system schools and ICT teachers, and conveyed to them a new approach and worlding around Python.
“Salih Ceka” in Spoonbill Nest:
The school is an early participant in Spoonbill Nest and the Business Relations Coordinator is the connecting point, Mr. Kasapi. Serving as a project officer, he has developed our joint initiatives and projects. The last time, the school’s newest initiative was to increase the number of girls in the ICT direction and improve curricula by adapting to the needs of businesses and the labor market. These initiatives we feel proud for. Previous experience at Spoonbill Nest has strengthened the tradition of performing vocational practices near our premises and training students.
Project “Sustainable Hospitality Management”:
This project was thought to be an excellent alternative to update, modernize and digitize the Hotels and Tourism management curriculum, into the Sustainable Hospitality Management curriculum. The purpose of this project is to bring closer to contemporary standards the modern tourism and hospitality industry in the country. It seeks to do so by investing in education, through the creation of an ERP platform, which will connect all participating actors to ensure transparency and to bring graduate students with greater employment opportunities, with adaptation skills and ready to face market demands. This project will teach students about the ideas of skilling, reskilling and lifelong learning, introducing them simultaneously to the ideas of social, economic and environmental sustainability. All this to build long-term careers and development prospects.
Elite Travel Group, integrated part of the vocational school “Salih Ceka”:
During the three years of close cooperation, the company’s management staff and Elite Academy mentors have shown special care towards this relationship, coming from the desire and common spirit of trying new things, as well as from the excellent school students, who have enriched and added color to the company over time.
Our general manager, Mr. Kotherja was elected chairman of the school board, passing the experience and joint work to a higher level of professionalism.
The school management board is an internal school body, which aims to ensure performance quality, institutional support and social partners’ engagement.
In the future we plan to expand this cooperation, to touch on other achievements, and to become part of valuable projects for society and the hospitality industry. We are hopeful that it is a long journey, which has just begun and will be successful.