Approximately 75 members of staff of the Grand Palladium Hotel in Point, Hanover, have graduated from a training course in food and beverage service and food preparation, which was carried out by the HEART Trust/NTA.
The training course lasted from January to July and the successful participants have received the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ) certificate, in keeping with Vision 2030, which states that if Jamaica is to achieve first world status, citizens must be trained and certified at the highest level.
Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country’s first long-term national development plan, which aims at enabling Jamaica to achieve developed country status by 2030. It is based on a comprehensive vision: “Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.”
Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Damion Crawford, who addressed the graduates on August 23, argued that on-going training is essential for workers, especially in the tourism industry, in order for the product to be of the highest standard.
"If Jamaica is going to survive and do well in the future…we must focus on some things that we are good at, and one thing that we are very, very good at is tourism. If Jamaica is going to be better off, your service (as workers in the tourism industry) is important. The workers in the hotels serve as the proxy or the example for what Jamaicans are; therefore what and how we are received is, in large part, dependent on how you act as workers and how you serve," the State Minister pointed out.
He said that hotel workers are now being trained to offer service with skill and at the same time, enjoy giving that service, as this is not work, but "making people happy."
The State Minister congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to continue giving of their best. "Don't look at where you are, look at where you want to be, and if you are going to improve yourselves, don’t live in the past, it will only make you sad and angry. Don’t live in the future, it will only make you anxious, but live in the present, to do the best that you can at the time that you are doing it," Mr. Crawford said.
Valedictorian, Vivia Lawson, urged fellow graduates to always remember their achievements with pride, as "success is not measured by how you fulfill the expectations of others, but by how honestly you live up to your expectations."
"Because you have been true to yourselves in the pursuit of your dreams, you have earned the right to be proud of your accomplishments. Let us not give up learning, because learning is a cycle that keeps turning. Celebrate what you have accomplished and look forward to how you can be an inspiration for others,” Ms. Lawson said.