Although the program has been offered for the past decade, it made national headlines in spring 2010 when it became a government-accredited, certified Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program with competency standards and qualifications recognized throughout the country.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru and Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa are the first in the country to offer a TVET-certified apprenticeship programme to young Maldivians.
The curriculum includes classroom study and hands-on training in areas such as food and beverage preparation, marine transport and housekeeping. Apprentices are taught by senior hotel managers with years of international hospitality experience and are equipped with the practical skills necessary for full-time employment. Students also receive free room and board, monthly remuneration and access to all the employee facilities at the Resorts.
To date, more than 200 young Maldivians have graduated from the programme. Upon completion, students receive a nationally recognized TVET certificate. Graduates are not required to work at Four Seasons once they finish, but many of them do and go on to rewarding careers within the company. One student who completed the program in 2003 has already advanced to a position as assistant department head. The program has become so well recognized that other hotel companies are now inquiring about when the apprentices are ready for hire.
In addition to advancing professional development, the Resorts are actively involved in educating youth about the need for environmental preservation. As part of the Baa Atoll Youth project launched in 2009, Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru’s assistant dive manager partnered with a Maldivian environmental consultant to teach students about conservation issues, initiatives and projects relevant to their home islands. The pair travels to surrounding islands to host workshops and has also hosted training sessions at the Resort. It is hoped that the program will inspire new environmental advocates and future leaders committed to preserving the delicate ecosystem.