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Tourism Black Forest: European project "Rural regions and green future jobs"

Looking for employees for the catering and hotel industry in the Black Forest? The AEF - Spanish Academy for Further Education from Hornberg is carrying out a European project with the aim of promoting the exchange and training of skilled workers from the perspective of nature tourism.

Among other things, the Black Forest region is to be brought to the fore as an international labour market region, as an increasing trend towards nature tourism can be observed.

How has the pandemic affected tourism in Germany and how is this sector developing after the pandemic? Is there a new trend towards nature tourism in Switzerland and what does this mean for vocational training? And how can tourism businesses, especially those in rural regions of Europe, obtain the necessary international skilled labour?

In order to find answers to these questions, the AEF - Spanish Academy for Continuing Education e.V., with its branch in Hornberg, is receiving funding from the EU's Erasmus+ programme for a European pilot project. The aim is for vocational schools, companies and tourism associations in the Black Forest region and the partner country Spain to exchange ideas in order to identify solutions for the new challenges in vocational training in this sector.

Under the title "Rural regions and green future jobs", the project is highly topical, as in addition to the new trends in the tourism sector, the issue of a shortage of skilled labour is on everyone's lips. Can nature tourism make the Black Forest region better known and more attractive compared to large cities such as Berlin or Munich? What consequences and new requirements does this have for vocational training?

The partners in Spain are faced with similar questions and problems. Away from the well-known beaches, the rural hinterland offers enormous potential that is only developing slowly, although more and more tourists want to experience this natural area.

With the "Rural regions and green future jobs" project, the AEF and partners want to develop a sustainable exchange programme for the vocational training and further education of skilled workers for rural regions and nature tourism. The seasonal nature of tourism in Spain, with its negative consequences for employees, can be turned into a mutual advantage for the Black Forest. But ... how can the Spanish partners access vacancies in the Black Forest?

For example, Spanish partners could be given the opportunity to offer their students additional qualifications and prospects for internships after graduation. "Unfortunately, previous attempts by the employment agency have shown hardly any results to date. On the other hand, we are experiencing a boom in tourism in the Black Forest region and the shortage of skilled labour is becoming increasingly acute. That is why we at the AEF are determined to take the initiative at European level," says Mr José Gayarre, Head of the AEF Head Office in Bonn.

In co-operation with the Spanish Hotel and Catering School Costa Azahar, the AEF would like to make its contribution to the tourism industry in the region: "This project is only a first step towards a pan-European development of the tourism industry. As a binational institution for adult education, we are interested in a constructive exchange between the vocational schools and companies for this new profession in nature tourism, as well as getting to know each other. Regional marketing is also important as a method of employer branding for the Black Forest and should make the region attractive as a professional destination," says José Gayarre.

As an organisation that has been active in the region for a long time, the AEF is happy to invite all interested parties to take part. Tourism companies, vocational schools, tourism associations or local authorities, for example, can find answers to questions such as "What skills could Spanish colleagues bring with them? What does training look like in Spain? Or how can international skilled workers contribute to this boom in regional tourism?

After an initial kick-off event in Spain, the next meeting will take place in the Black Forest between 2 and 5 September 2022. At the beginning of October, there will be a second round with a delegation from the Black Forest, which will visit the Spanish partner on the Iberian Peninsula.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.