8,000 tourism workers to be trained in 5 years
The Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI), the training arm of the Ministry of Tourism, is on target to training 8,000 tourism workers over the next 5 years.
This was confirmed by Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett at the JCTI’s graduation ceremony at the Montego Bay Convention Centre yesterday (October 17), where over 300 persons received certification in tourism related fields. This represents its second batch of graduates.
Minister Bartlett emphasized that “Human capital development is strategic to our tourism growth agenda and that’s why the JCTI is targeted to train some 8,000 tourism workers in five years. This graduation puts us one step closer to achieving that target,
Our workers have a lot to do in determining the rate at which we grow by giving the best service there is at all times as it through their skillsets, professionalism and innovation we will be able to attract more visitors and increase earnings.”
Of the over three hundred graduates, there are 14 Certified Hospitality Educators; 9 Certified Hospitality Instructors; 17 Culinary Tutors; 12 Culinarians and Pastry Chefs; 20 Bartender Trainers and over 200 Bartenders.
The JCTI was established to facilitate the development of professionals in the sector who themselves will set high standards as leaders and collectively raise the industry to the highest level that today’s discerning traveler demands. In April this year, there were over 150 graduates who gained AHLEI and NVQJ Certification.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid said, “I applaud this initiative as this certification will ensure that Jamaicans will take their place in the workforce and rise to the highest levels because as our workers improve so will their compensation. Whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve and so I want all Jamaicans to continue learning and engaging in continuous professional development,
This program is embedded in our curriculum and is the start of great things in tourism so workers can benefit more from the tourism dollar.”
As part of the JCTI’s efforts to extend training and certification to a younger cohort, the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program (HTMP) was recently launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. HTMP is the first of its kind certification program for high schools developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and will allow students to gain entry-level qualification in tourism as well as Associate Degrees in Customer Service and recognition by the local Customer Service Association.
In encouraging the graduates to take their place within the sector, Minister Bartlett, reminded them that, “You are among a group of pioneers in tourism training as no one else in Jamaica or the Caribbean has the certification that you do. In providing this development of a professional pathway for our tourism workers we are not trying to just create professional workers but create entrepreneurs who will be innovative and add great value wherever they go.”