JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Tourism is providing 11 free online courses for tourism workers as part of the Government’s thrust to ensure the continued development of employees in the sector.
  • The courses, being offered by the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI), are now available and will run until late July.
  • Areas of training are laundry attendant, gift room attendant, kitchen steward/porter, public area sanitation, hospitality team leader, certified banquet server, certified restaurant server, Servsafe training in food safety, certified hospitality supervisor, introduction to Spanish, and disc jock (DJ) certification.

The Ministry of Tourism is providing 11 free online courses for tourism workers as part of the Government’s thrust to ensure the continued development of employees in the sector.

The courses, being offered by the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI), are now available and will run until late July.

Areas of training are laundry attendant, gift room attendant, kitchen steward/porter, public area sanitation, hospitality team leader, certified banquet server, certified restaurant server, Servsafe training in food safety, certified hospitality supervisor, introduction to Spanish, and disc jock (DJ) certification.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in his remarks at the virtual launch on Wednesday (April 22), said that the training is targeted at persons who were recently laid off due to the downturn in the sector, which has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Starting today [these] workers will have access to free online courses to hone their skills and improve their qualifications,” he said.

The Minister encouraged the workers to seek every opportunity to position themselves to take advantage of opportunities in tourism when the industry rallies.

“While these are trying times we must remember there is life after COVID-19 and the tourism sector will rebound… . I want our tourism workers to be better prepared. When we leave this period of pandemic, it must not leave you as you were before but, indeed, much better off,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Minister said that there is no better time than now for stakeholders in the sector to “retool and upscale”.

“It is a smart investment to stay resilient, which will pay handsome dividends when the tourism sector returns to normal,” he noted.

Significantly, Minister Bartlett said protocols for health security in the sector are being widely promoted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

“This is going to be critical to all players in the industry. It is going to dictate a new level of security buttressed by a new tourism ethic that is going to define the importance of sanitation and health protocols as the way forward for the industry,” he said.

Local and international partners in the online training programme include the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF); Human Employment Resource Training/National Service Training Agency Trust (HEART/NSTA Trust); Universal Service Fund (USF); University of the West Indies (UWI); National Restaurant Association (NRA); and the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI).

All courses will include certification examinations. Successful candidates will receive certificates from NRA, AHLEI, or HEART/NSTA Trust, as required. The programmes will be facilitated by HEART/NSTA Trust-certified tutors.

Persons can register online at www.tef.gov.jm/jamaica-centre-oftourism-innovation or call the JCTI (876) 920-4926.
Tourism is among the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with several hotels and attractions having to close down operations.

A total of 40,000 persons remain employed in the industry, while 120,000 have been laid off. Another 160,000 workers have been directly impacted and more than 350,000 have been indirectly impacted by the pandemic.

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