• Feature
    Executive Director at the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Dr. Carey Wallace.
    Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson

    Story Highlights

    • Seven hundred young persons will be provided with the opportunity to participate in the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) Summer Internship Programme in 2019.
    • The initiative is geared at introducing participants to the world of work, and assisting them with professional experience.
    • Applications for the summer are now open, with all application letters and résumés to be summited to tefsummerinternship@gmail.com by March 31.

    Seven hundred young persons will be provided with the opportunity to participate in the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) Summer Internship Programme in 2019.

    The initiative is geared at introducing participants to the world of work, and assisting them with professional experience.

    Applications for the summer are now open, with all application letters and résumés to be summited to tefsummerinternship@gmail.com by March 31.

    Speaking with JIS News, Executive Director at the TEF, Dr. Carey Wallace, explains that the initiative seeks to ensure that students in high schools and tertiary institutions benefit from opportunities offered through internships.

    “Initially, it was geared towards the hospitality sector, but based on the demand that we had… we have extended it to corporate Jamaica as well. So, the idea is to give them exposure, experience, and an income for the period, and to also have corporate Jamaica and the hospitality/tourism sector benefit from having extra hands, brains and creativity during those summer months,” Dr. Wallace says.

    The summer internship programme runs for three months, June to August. Selected candidates are given the opportunity to work for a minimum of four weeks within both the public and private sectors. Eligible candidates should be between 16 and 25 years of age.

    Students are required to have two references. One should be from the institution he/she currently attends and should clearly state the grade or year of study.

    The other reference may come from a medical doctor, attorney-at-law, justice of the peace (JP) or a minister of religion. Students are also required to have their current school identification card; Tax Registration Number (TRN); and a passport-size photograph signed by a JP.

    For non-students, they are required to have two references, one of which should be from a medical doctor, attorney-at-law, JP or minister of religion. The other should be from the previous place of employment.

    Non-students are also required to have a passport-size photograph signed by a JP; a valid identification card (National ID, passport or driver’s licence); TRN and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card.

    There are no specific educational requirements and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

    The TEF will be investing a total of $60 million, which will be shared between the TEF Summer Internship Programme and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) internship programme.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Wallace tells JIS News that some of the interns may have the opportunity to be offered permanent jobs.

    “We have had cases like that, but that is under the discretion of the employers. If an intern shines brightly in the position, even if they don’t get an immediate offer, in the future they may get a job there or certainly a great recommendation that puts them in a good position,” he says.

    Summer Programme Manager, TEF, Diane Brown-Allen, tells JIS News that at the end of the programme, an awards ceremony will be held, where the interns will be recognised, and the top performers presented with gifts.

    “We try to find them tokens within the tourism sector, just for them to enjoy Jamaica and also to show our appreciation for their hard work,” she says.

    Interns will also participate in an orientation programme, where they will be exposed to proper work etiquette.

    For this year, the programme is making a special effort to incorporate persons with disabilities, with dialogue already taking place with the Abilities Foundation.

    Dr. Wallace says the TEF is seeking out employers who are open to accommodating such persons.

    “We are aggressively looking at that… to be able to extend that facilitation to the disabled students. It’s a real push that we are making this year to incorporate that into our programme,” he says.

    In addition, the TEF is encouraging partners to come on board the internship programme.

    Mrs. Brown-Allen notes that last year, there were 87 partners, arguing that “the more partners we have, the more spaces we can offer”.

    “So, for any agencies out there who believe they can assist with partnering with us for this internship programme, it is an excellent opportunity. Their main role is the mentoring and supervising of the students, so it’s an excellent opportunity for companies to come on board,” she says.

    The Tourism Enhancement Fund was established to enable the implementation of Jamaica’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development. In 2007, as part of its civil duty, the TEF began a mission to facilitate the smooth transition of adolescents into the workforce.