21 Persons Graduate from TPDCo Programme

Photo: Michael Sloley Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (3rd left back) with the 21 graduates of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) Culinary Skills Training Programme. The TPDCo spare headed initiative aims to upgrade the skills of new and existing entrepreneurs in the field of gastronomy. The graduation ceremony was held on March 1 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. Others pictured from (2nd left back) are Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid and Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

Story Highlights

  • Some 21 persons from Olympic Gardens are now better equipped to pursue careers, having graduated from the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) Culinary Skills Training Programme.
  • Having completed this extensive training programme, participants who are now HEART/NTA certified, are expected to play their part in the Olympic Way Hip Strip initiative as managers and chefs for specific areas of fine cuisine.
  • The TPDCo initiative aims to upgrade the skills of new and existing entrepreneurs in the field of gastronomy.

Some 21 persons from Olympic Gardens are now better equipped to pursue careers, having graduated from the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) Culinary Skills Training Programme.

The graduation ceremony was held today (March 1) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

The programme forms part of the ‘Olympic Way Hip Strip’ project being implemented by TPDCo with funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

Having completed this extensive training programme, participants who are now HEART/NTA certified, are expected to play their part in the Olympic Way Hip Strip initiative as managers and chefs for specific areas of fine cuisine.

In his remarks at the function, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness congratulated the graduates on the milestone achievement and encouraged them to utilize their new skills to assist in nation building.

“I share in your pride today. Going through a course of study, the truth is that you are not the same person today that you were before… you are empowered with knowledge. That is the strength of education and training and we want to do this for every Jamaican regardless of where you are in your life cycle,” he stated.

Prime Minister Holness, who is also Member of Parliament for West Central St. Andrew mentioned that the Government will continue to work to ensure safety of visitors to the island, who wish to experience full immersion in the Jamaican culture.

He also mentioned a recent trend for visitors to stay in communities such as Olympic Gardens so as to experience the full dancehall culture.

Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett pointed out that the Ministry is focusing its efforts in human capital development, to ensure high quality service delivery in the tourism industry.

“We have to build the people, enable them to provide all those experiences that the people pay for. We are redirecting and refocusing the TPDCo towards human capital development and capacity building to supply the demands of tourism,” he said.

The TPDCo initiative aims to upgrade the skills of new and existing entrepreneurs in the field of gastronomy.

The graduates were trained in: basic cooking methods, hygiene and sanitation, stock taking, kitchen management, baking, bar service and introduction to business.

Following their one month training, which was facilitated by Jai Promotions Jamaica, assessments were conducted by the HEART Trust/NTA. Successful candidates received their certification under the TPDCo Team Jamaica Culinary Skills Programme.

The closing ceremony serves as a transitioning point for the culinary graduates who will begin their journey as culinary professionals and entrepreneurs on the Olympic Way Hip Strip weekly events.

This is a designated area of the community, frequented by pedestrians that will accommodate a vibrant mix of authentic Jamaican dance expression, music and the eight culinary tents from which the graduates will operate.

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