Tourism Minister Outlines Significance of JCTI

Photo: Claudia Gardner Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left), congratulates Project Coordinator at the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Carol Rose Brown, for doing stellar work during the establishment phase of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI), during his presentation at the launch of the organisation on November 1 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is confident that the recently launched Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI) will be a catalyst in securing the country’s competitive advantage as a preferred tourism destination for travel industry partners and travellers.
  • The Minister said the JCTI, which is expected to become a globally competitive certification institution, will work with and through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, which will support the “training and certification agenda”.
  • Mr. Bartlett said JCTI will offer access to certification programmes that support existing hospitality offerings at several tertiary institutions in Jamaica, in areas such as hospitality management, tourism management, culinary arts and spa management, among others.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is confident that the recently launched Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI) will be a catalyst in securing the country’s competitive advantage as a preferred tourism destination for travel industry partners and travellers.

Mr. Bartlett was speaking at the official launch of a three-month pilot project marking the start of the work of the JCTI on November 1 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.

The Minister said the JCTI, which is expected to become a globally competitive certification institution, will work with and through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, which will support the “training and certification agenda”.

The role of the JCTI, which is part of the Government’s Human Capital Development Plan, is to facilitate the certification and licensure of Jamaicans working in tourism and to facilitate innovation in tourism.

Mr. Bartlett said the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will also support the data gathering and analysis “and the thrust to improve terms and conditions of work”.

“The JCTI was born out of Vision 2030’s Tourism Sector Development Plan, which calls for the development of a training institution focused on developing a management cadre with the skills, knowledge and motivation required by tourism entities,” the Minister explained.

“The need to prioritise the development of a strategic plan for human capital development to support the tourism sector is not a mere consideration but an absolute necessity,” he contended.

Mr. Bartlett said JCTI will offer access to certification programmes that support existing hospitality offerings at several tertiary institutions in Jamaica, in areas such as hospitality management, tourism management, culinary arts and spa management, among others.

“In essence, it will operate like the Norman Manley Law School, which provides the requisite accreditation for lawyers across the region,” he said.

Under the JCTI’s pilot project, which begins in this month, 50 candidates, 25 each from the hospitality/tourism sector and the culinary arts, will be assessed and certified, and, if successful, will be assigned requisite designations, including hospitality supervisor, certified culinarian, chef de cuisine, chef de partie and sous chef.

The programme will include hands-on work in the industry as well as the review of manuals and workbooks.

Through the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), the pilot will have the support of seven hotels – the Spanish Court, Mariott Courtyard and The Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston; Moon Palace and RIU in Ocho Rios; and Sandals and Half Moon in Montego Bay.

Candidates will have the support of between five and seven managers in each hotel, 12 Certified Hospitality Educators, as well as the backing of the Montego Bay Convention Centre and the Apprenticeship Board.

Mr. Bartlett said estimated employment needs for existing hotels due to expansion, attrition and retirement will total 29,538 new jobs over the next five years, and that the JCTI will play an integral role in helping the hotel sector to meet these needs.

He projected that for the next five years, 8,622 persons will be trained and given internationally recognised certification. It is also estimated, he said, that 220 Certified Hospitality Supervisors and 125 Department Trainers would each train an estimated 100 front-line workers. Similarly, the 200 Certified Spa Supervisors would each train an estimated 50 line staff, resulting in an additional 10,000 trained persons.

The Minister also lauded the State collaborators, namely the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), the Ministries of Education and Labour, and the HEART Trust/NTA, which he said were instrumental in developing the JCTI.

He said the organisation will also collaborate with the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, the American Culinary Federation, and later the George Washington University’s Institute of Tourism Studies, as well as the United Nations World Tourism Organization Themis Foundation TedQual programme, to provide other levels of certification.

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