180 Artisans Trained

Photo: Donald De La Haye Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left), inspecting craft items at the Craft Enhancement Project Recognition and Awards Ceremony on July 12, at the New Kingston Business Centre. Others (from second left) are Craft Coordinator at the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Violet Crutchley; Director, Organisation of American States (OAS) Country Office, Jeanelle Van Glaanenweygel and Executive Director (TPDCo), Dennis Hickey. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Tourism and international partners have spent US$500,000 to train and certify 180 artisans under the Craft Enhancement Project.
  • The programme, which was part of a larger regional project being undertaken by the Organization of American States (OAS), resulted in Jamaica topping the region with its outcomes.
  • Executive Director, Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Dennis Hickey, told the artisans at the ceremony that “you now have an increased capacity for a steady earning doing something that you love”.

The Ministry of Tourism and international partners have spent US$500,000 to train and certify 180 artisans under the Craft Enhancement Project.

The programme, which was part of a larger regional project being undertaken by the Organization of American States (OAS), resulted in Jamaica topping the region with its outcomes.

“From the overall results of this regional project most progress was made in Jamaica,” Director of the OAS Country office, Jeanelle Van Glaanenweygel, said while addressing the recognition and awards ceremony for the project, in Kingston, on July 12.

Mrs. Van Glaanenweygel said that over 300 artisans have been trained in seven member states in the Caribbean, and half of the number is from Jamaica.

She noted that 50 new product lines were created through the project, with 21 of these being certified for the international market from Jamaica.

Also created through the project was a virtual resource centre for artisans, which allows buyers to be able to shop for products online.

“The ultimate goal of the project is to ensure that authentic locally designed and developed high-quality craft products from Jamaica are produced,” Mrs. Van Glaanenweygel said.

Participants in the project received training in small-business planning and product development, along with craft creation using varying types of material.

For the duration of the project, craft exhibitions were held to showcase and sell products, and craft producers were given the opportunity to enter into agreements with hotels and shops to increase sales.

Executive Director, Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Dennis Hickey, told the artisans at the ceremony that “you now have an increased capacity for a steady earning doing something that you love”.

He pointed out that this will also help to stem the rural to urban drift, as it will allow persons to stay in their communities while contributing to economic growth.

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