THE PROBLEM: RATIONALE AND BACKGROUND
Hospitality students who graduate today face many challenges when finding a job in today’s competitive job market. Graduates must meet the expectations of the prospective companies as well as recruiters’ expectations. If they are negative, it will take a lot of success to reverse the first impression which is marked by frustrated expectations, inability to find suitable and decent jobs, and inefficient job search. When investment in education and training is expected to yield some real world rewards, there is generally a failure to meet young people’s expectations and needs. Some young people are sought after while still in school or university by organizations hungering for a certain type of knowledge which is hard to come by among the existing labor force. Organizations spend a substantial amount of time on recruiting and selecting appropriate staff not only with years of experience among applicants, graduates with no, or limited experience, are also targeted for entry level positions.
As one of the core segments of the service industry, the hospitality industry has experienced the same challenges as others in maintaining skilled and qualified workforce to cope with the current challenges and to cater to the changing needs of today’s customers. Graduates apply for positions with the expectation that they posses the skills required in order to perform the required tasks of the position adequately. Internship programs have been put in place in order to assist graduates in entering the workplace.
Internships are offered by universities in response to “calls by employers for greater job preparedness on the part of students. It is a means to provide students with an opportunity to develop skills tied to job contexts” (Grabowsky & Harden Fritz, 2007). It is a form of training seen as a means of getting first applicable skills which will give undergraduate students a head start on the market segment they are approaching. For the employer, it is a method of possible future employees and a cheap mechanism of getting certain types of work done which are not sophisticated and firm specific. For both sides, it is a screening process to achieve a better match between the skills of the worker/student and the requirements of the workplace/firms climate.
Background of the Study:
Organizations worldwide are facing the challenge of acquiring ever-increasing knowledge, skills and intellectual capital in order to be competitive and survive in the global economy (Raftopoulos, 2006). It was also emphasize the fact that organization’s competitive advantage is often dependent on the specialized knowledge and skills of employees. Graduates should enable to manage the rapidly changing demands in today’s hospitality industry addressing increased completion, changing consumer attitudes and employer demands.
Organizations face challenges such as high technology, global economy and increase social diversity and therefore, emphasis is place on better preparing graduates for the workplace. The practicum training program is a preparation for undergraduate students for the adult world. There is general agreement that graduates need some basic skills in order to function effectively in the workplace, locally and abroad, which will prepare them to be globally competitive and marketable to the industry to gain employment (Alcaide, 2008).
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) formulated a policy for skills enhancement to ensure acquisition of knowledge, skills and desirable attitudes that will make a Filipino students globally competitive upon graduation. TESDA also established a competency based criteria for the development of skills in the hospitality and tourism sector. The aim is to ensure that student graduates are equipped with necessary academic and practical skills required in the work place. The concern is how the internship program influence student...