The Full Story
With school back in session, participants in the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) Summer Internship Programme (SIP) are thankful for the experience they gained.
More than 1,100 students were employed under the programme this year at 136 entities across Jamaica.
The programme took place over two cycles, with the first batch of interns working from June to mid-July and the second batch worked from late July to August 25.
Seaforth High School student Andrea Young tells JIS News that she is thankful that she was selected to participate in the programme.
For her, being placed at Altamont Court Hotel in Kington was “very good” as she learned new skills, interacted with guests and met new people.
“I was a trainee in [the] Accounts [Department] for two weeks before working at the front desk,” she says.
Andrea notes that “at first, working in Accounts was a bit challenging,” however, with the supervision received from the staff, she was able to learn how to complete her assigned tasks.
The intern further commends the staff at the hotel for the role they played in her professional development, noting, “they taught me how to operate in a work environment”.
Another intern, Aaliyah Patterson, who worked at the same hotel but in the Housekeeping Department, says her experience was educational and motivating.
“I learned how to interact with the guests. I learned basic skills – how to properly tuck the bed, clean furniture and check the air-conditioning unit and television [to ensure they are working properly],” she shares, adding that she will apply the skills learned in her everyday life.
The Mona High School student, who studies Hospitality and Tourism Management, says the positive feedback received from her supervisor and co-workers pushed her to always give of her best and continue working hard.
Front Desk Supervisor at Altamont Court Hotel, Dakoda Allen, says working with the interns was a wonderful experience.
“We tried our best to have them being hands-on, so that they can know what it is like in the work environment and how everything operates,” Ms. Allen explains, noting that they were helpful and willing to work.
Ms. Allen, who was tasked with supervising the interns, tells JIS News that Altamont Court accommodated six students.
“When they all came, they were nervous, you could see it on their faces, but they [later] developed some confidence. It happens to everyone. When you go somewhere new, you are a bit nervous but eventually they blend in with others and they improved,” the Supervisor points out.
Ms. Allen commends the TEF for implementing the SIP, noting that it is a good way to expose young people to how the tourism industry operates.
“We are looking forward to having more interns come each year. We always try to accommodate them in any way that we can,” she says.
Meanwhile, Human Resource Assistant at the Scientific Research Council (SRC), Cecilia Sutherland, is encouraging more companies to get involved with the TEF Summer Internship Programme.
The SRC accommodated 20 students under the programme during the summer.
“Remember, you are not just building you, you are building an economy, you are building the youth … and I think it’s a great opportunity. So, for those who are not yet onboard, please get onboard,” she urges.
Established in April 2007, the TEF Summer Internship Programme is a significant initiative to provide young people with valuable work experience across various sectors.
Under the guidance of the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI), the programme partners with organisations in all 14 parishes.
Participants gain real-world experience over six weeks while receiving mentoring from professionals in the field.
Last year, more than 800 students participated in the programme.