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The Government is in discussion with the University of the West Indies (UWI) regarding potential training options that can be explored and initiated to further boost the competence of tourism workers.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who is leading the discussions on behalf of the Government, said it is anticipated that the outcome of the talks “will take us into another tier of that whole process of building professionalism within the sector, through the university”.

The Minister was speaking at a ceremony to announce the 2018 Tourism Service Excellence Awards finalists, at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, on Tuesday (March 12).

Mr. Bartlett, who indicated that the initiative will be further outlined during his 2019/20 Sectoral Debate presentation in Parliament, said the undertaking represents the start of labour transformation arrangements in the tourism sector.

He noted that the existing scenario “sometimes makes it difficult for us to classify the workers”, in order to create the attendant remuneration.

In this regard, the Minister said it is anticipated that with the proposed collaboration being pursued, beneficiaries will be recognised for their contributions and rewarded “appropriately”.

Mr. Bartlett further indicated that for beneficiaries entering the world of work for the first time, “when you come in, you come in at a certain level with a salary arranged scale that is [recognised]… and then you are able to move up, based on qualification, competence and performance at every level”.

The 2018 Tourism Service Excellence Awards ceremony is slated for Saturday, March 30 in Montego Bay.

The event will recognise and honour individuals and organisations across the industry who have distinguished themselves through service excellence.