Innovation and dynamism are what the new director of the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) wants to bring to the academy.
The newly appointed Terence Max said that STA needs to become “the pathway to success for every young Seychellois”. Max added that his vision for the educational institution is for the tourism and hospitality industry in Seychelles to rely on STA to furnish them with the quality skills and talent that will fit into the specific demands of their businesses.
“We should be able to satisfy the industry demands and in turn, they should be convinced that STA is a reliable source for their talent recruitments,” Max said in a recent interview with the daily paper Seychelles Nation.
Max’s appointment was announced recently by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde in a general meeting with the staff of the institution.
“It is over nine years since I left STA, and of course during my absence, I know that there has been a lot of developments, but my immediate aim is to conduct an assessment to see what has been done, and what position STA is at in this new environment that we are working in,” added Max, who has experience in the tourism industry and in academia.
Max has qualifications in hotel management, a bachelors’ degree in education, and a masters’ of science acquired from universities and educational institutions in United Kingdom, Switzerland and Singapore. Over the years, he has held key management positions at various tourism establishments, internationally as well as in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. Max was also a lecturer at the tourism academy and recently at the University of Seychelles (UniSey).
“My vision is for STA to concentrate on its mandate, and in my opinion, its mandate is to act as the environment whereby we enroll, we choose the positive elements to develop and form, to later occupy key positions in the industry. Our role is to produce quality local talents for industry,” he explained.
According to Max, STA is dependent on the demands of the industry. “Based on the demands of the industry, we can tailor-make our programmes and master the demands. The industry is evolving, it is dynamic, and of course, with the pandemic, the industry has reviewed its way of doing things, so we too need to change and evolve to meet their demands. So, it involves teamwork, it involves other organisations, the Ministry of Education, Seychelles Qualification Authority, schools, parents, stakeholders and of course industry, so we all participate together and see how we can bring the academy forward,” added Max.
Max is taking over as the head of the academy following the retirement of Flavien Joubert, who retired from the post earlier this year. Joubert was the head of the school for 13 years.
When introducing the new director, Minister Radegonde spoke of the proposed restructuring happening at the ministry and said the academy will be fully supported.
“Everyone that you interact with today is talking about the challenges that they face in recruiting and retaining staff. Review the mandate of the STA, and ask yourselves whether it should not be tweaked or rearranged, modified slightly, so we can ultimately provide the country, and tourism industry, as well as the economy, with the labour force, that it requires,” explained Radegonde.
According to the minister this is a big challenge, “but what I can say on behalf of the leadership at the ministry level, we give you our full support at any time, because your success is the success of the ministry and the country,” said Radegonde.