Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the training of more than 7,000 hospitality workers has been done as a key strategy to reposition the industry for the post COVID-19 era.
Mr. Bartlett, who was opening the 2021/2022 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on April 20, said the Government is committed to developing a competitive and productive workforce that can benefit from opportunities in the sector.
“During the pandemic, we increased our efforts to train our hospitality-sector workers,” he said, adding that the training agenda was boosted with the establishment of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI), which is tasked specifically with facilitating the development of the industry’s human capital and supporting innovation in the sector.
“This has been made possible through strategic partnerships with the Human Employment and Resource Training/National Service Training Agency Trust (HEART/NSTA Trust), Universal Service Fund (USF), National Restaurants Association (NRA), and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI),” the Minister told the House.
The Minister reported that the JCTI is offering several middle management certification programmes in Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE), Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE), Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT), and Certified Hotel Concierge (CHC).
In addition, he said 45 candidates have taken their examinations for culinary arts certification offered by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and the first cohort of high-school students has completed training in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Programme (HTMP).
“They are ready to take up entry-level jobs in tourism. We believe that these young people, from all across the country, will help to boost the sector’s competitiveness in the post-COVID-19 era,” Mr. Bartlett said.