The ACCMR Digital Job Fair in Tourism and Hospitality, which took place on on May 14, the first day of Greece’s official opening for tourism, sent a message in favour of an open to diversity and dynamic labour market.

The digital Job Fair, organized by the ACCMR Economic Empowerment/Livelihoods Committee | Municipality of Athens with the support of the International Organization for Migration and the Ministry of Migration and Asylum under the HELIOS Program *, brought together employers, professionals and trainers of the tourism industry with refugees and migrants interested in working in the sector, with the aim of promoting social inclusion.

"Professional autonomy and financial independence are a necessary condition for social inclusion. Tourism sector involves many employment opportunities but also requirements. Capacity building to promote integration is a priority for us and for that reason the Ministry of Migration and Asylum is trying to map skills so that we can develop appropriate curricula", said Ms Sofia Voultepsi. Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum in charge of Integration.

A total of 450 people expressed interest in attending the educational conference including presentations by business representatives, professionals and trainers, civil society organizations and refugees who shared their own experience with prospective employees. What skills can make a candidate stand out, how the work culture and services provided vary depending on the type and size of the business, what are the employment rights and obligations of an employee in the tourism and hospitality sector, are some of the topics presented.

Also, more than 100 interviews were conducted, connecting companies with potential employees. At the same time, companies were informed by the NGOs Generation 2.0 RED and Solidarity Now on the diversity in the workplace as well as on the access rights of the refugee and migrant population to employment.

Mr. Gianluca Rocco, Head of the International Organization for Migration in Greece, stated that immigration in Greece is a fact. Integration is crucial and necessary for the prosperity of the country. The employment integration of refugees in the Greek society can have multiple benefits for both the economy and society in the future. Working with refugees, we can meet the challenges and utilize their skills to achieve their smooth integration.

Ms Melina Daskalaki, Executive Advisor for Migrants and Refugees and President of the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) stressed that tourism is a privileged field with comparative advantages which can help the smooth transition from the reception of refugees and migrants to the next big challenge, their integration into local communities. 

During this restart period for this key sector of the country’s economy, 12 hotels have participated by conducting interviews with candidates as well as a variety of speakers has joined the event highlighting the dynamics of Tourism and Hospitality in the field of integration.

"The growth margin of jobs in tourism in Greece is very high as there is a great shortage of manpower in relation to the needs, especially outside big cities. Therefore, there is room for refugees and migrants who should work in an equal and secure environment that respects diversity", remarked Mr George Pelekanakis, President of the Federation of Hotels Managers Association in Greece.


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About the event:

The Job Fair is an initiative of the members of the Economic Empowerment/Livelihoods Committee of the ACCMR (Athens Coordination Center for Migrant & Refugee issues). The action is implemented with the support of the International Organization for Migration and the Ministry of Migration and Asylum under the HELIOS program funded by the European Commission. Organizing partners: ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth, Generation 2.0 for Rights, Equality and Diversity, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Curing the Limbo (City of Athens), Migrant Integration Center of the City of Athens (ΚΕΜ), IOM, International Rescue Committee (IRC Hellas), Caritas Hellas, Odyssea και Solidarity Now.


Participating companies in the interviews:

Aegon Mykonos Autograph Collection Hotels, Anissa Beach Hotel, Blue Bay Resort Hotel, Cactus Hotels Spa & Resorts Crete, Chrissi Amoudia Hotel & Bungalows, Despo Hotel, Enorme Hotels & Villas, Esperides Resort Crete, Grecotel Hotels & Resorts, Kalia Beach Hotel, La Mer Resort & Spa, Rethymno Residence.

Participating speakers:

Mr George Pelekanakis, General Director in Group H Hotels Collection and President of the Federation of Hotels Managers Association in Greece, Mr George Maravelakis, Hotel Owner, Rethymno Residence, Mr Dimitris Hatzipetros, Hotelier and Tourism Educator, Mr Vasilis Panagiotou, Hotel Manager, Lavris Hotels, Mr. George Sfakianakis, Group Manager, Papakaliatis Group, Mr Emmanouil Maris, Hotel Manager, Santa Marina Cyan Group, Mr Kostantinos Karabatsos, Manager, D Marin Corfu, Ms Lila Karapostoli, Kitchen Guide Practitioner, Culinery Center and Cookery Club “Cooking Lessons’’, Mr Aias Katsaros, HR Account Manager, Workathlon, Mr Minas Zervas, Lawyer, Arsis-Association for the Social Support of Youth, Ms Katerina Kapnisi, Career Counsellor and Coordinator, Ms Natani Petros, Diversity Network Officer, Generation 2.0 For Rights Equality and Diversity, Mr Dimitris Sannas, Job Counsellor, Solidarity Now.

The agenda of the event can be found in the following link: https://bit.ly/2SsfSjz