MOU Signed With American Institute for Training in Tourism Sector

Photo: Dave Reid Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (third left) and Vice President of International Sales at the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, Ed Kastli (second left), exchange copies of a signed memorandum of understanding for the training of personnel in the tourism sector, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on November 27. Others (from left) are Chairman of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) Limited, Ian Dear; Executive Director of TPDCo, Andrew Spencer; Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) Chairman, Godfrey Dyer; and TEF Executive Director, Dr. Carey Wallace.

Story Highlights

  • A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Tourism Ministry and the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to facilitate the training of persons involved in the industry.
  • Mr. Bartlett noted that persons involved in the tourism industry must be prepared to capitalise on the opportunities in the sector, and “in so doing (there will be) a retention of the tourism expenditure in (the) region, (which) is going to be heightened”.
  • The training will be conducted at the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI) over a three-month period and will provide the first intake of 50 students, arriving in January, with AHLEI world-class training and certification.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Tourism Ministry and the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to facilitate the training of persons involved in the industry.

The training will be conducted at the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI) over a three-month period and will provide the first intake of 50 students, arriving in January, with AHLEI world-class training and certification.

The MOU was signed on the first day of the three-day United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on November 27.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the JCTI, which was officially launched on November 1, will create a “pathway towards professionalism”.

“It will bring people who already have a first degree or other formal qualifications in hospitality and hospitality-related activities into competence. Second, it will bring persons who are already practitioners, but are not certified, into the stream of professional certification,” he said.

Mr. Bartlett noted that persons involved in the tourism industry must be prepared to capitalise on the opportunities in the sector, and “in so doing (there will be) a retention of the tourism expenditure in (the) region, (which) is going to be heightened”.

“It is we the people who own tourism, and that ownership must result in our wealth and prosperity,” he said.

Mr. Bartlett informed that the AHLEI will enable persons to acquire jobs not just locally but “anywhere else in the world”.

For his part, Vice President of International Sales at the AHLEI, Ed Kastli, said the partnership is the first of its kind for the Institute in the Caribbean.

AHLEI is the premier source for delivering quality hospitality education, training and professional certification that serves the needs of hospitality schools and industries worldwide.

“This is a win-win cooperation that will be there for years to come and will empower youngsters about the good things that can be had for them working in the tourism industry. We are very proud to bring our programmes to the students,” he said.

Mr. Kastli pointed out that there will be a train-the-trainer component for local professionals, and noted that the training will enable those certified to find better jobs within the industry.

The JCTI is an assessment institution, which provides specialist education geared at improving competitiveness and employment opportunities in the tourism sector.

Established as part of the Government’s Human Capital Development Plan, it will facilitate the certification and licensing of Jamaicans working in tourism and facilitate innovation in the industry.

The Institute will work with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, through its training agency the HEART Trust/ NTA.

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