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Story Highlights

  • Executive Director of the Human Employment and Resource Training/National Training Agency (HEART Trust/NTA), Dr. Wayne Wesley, says Jamaican workers must be trained to capitalize on the job opportunities that will soon be available in the hospitality sector.
  • He argued that for Jamaicans to benefit, agencies such as HEART Trust/NTA must ensure that they are certified to meet international standards and are fully equipped to meet the demands of the workplace.
  • Dr. Wesley said Jamaica has an opportunity to be a global force in hospitality and tourism and that HEART Trust/NTA is prepared to take the lead in ensuring that a workforce of international repute is in place.

Executive Director of the Human Employment and Resource Training/National Training Agency (HEART Trust/NTA), Dr. Wayne Wesley, says Jamaican workers must be trained to capitalize on the job opportunities that will soon be available in the hospitality sector.

Addressing stakeholders and industry players at the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) launch of Competency Standards in Tourism, Hospitality and Community Service, at the Grandiosa Hotel, Montego Bay, on February 11, Dr. Wesley said with the number of hotel rooms that are slated to come on stream within the next few years, it is incumbent that the Jamaican workers are adequately prepared to meet the demand.

“This launch is part of our own strategic response to the development plans that are afoot in the tourism and hospitality sector. We recognize our role as the national training agency and what it is that we ought to be doing to facilitate the readiness of the workforce. We have to be prepared to take full advantage of the opportunities that will be at our doorstep,” Dr. Wesley said.

He argued that for Jamaicans to benefit, agencies such as HEART Trust/NTA must ensure that they are certified to meet international standards and are fully equipped to meet the demands of the workplace.

“These standards here today are one step in that direction. Having developed the standards, they must now be used to ensure that persons are trained and certified accordingly. This is particularly important as when we look at what is likely to happen in tourism, we will immediately realize that there will be job opportunities that will be available in other sectors as well,” Dr. Wesley added.

He noted that there will undoubtedly be some huge spinoffs for the construction industry, with opportunities also for both agriculture and manufacturing.

“We have recognized that for any expansion, the first sector that will be impacted is the construction sector. We have to also make sure that workers are prepared for the construction opportunities that will come along. It will also cut across the agricultural sector and we recognize that the produce that will be used by these various entities can come from our agro parks…from our local farmers. We have to ensure that this group is also ready to take advantage of those opportunities,” the Executive Director said.

“The other group that is likely to benefit is manufacturing. This is a great opportunity in terms of value added and we have to be prepared for that market as well,” he noted.

Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Wayne Wesley, speaking at the launch of Competency Standards for Tourism, Hospitality and Community Service at the Grandiosa Hotel, in Montego Bay, on February 11.

Dr. Wesley said his organization has a responsibility to ensure that the Jamaican worker will get first priority in this new wave of tourism expansion.

“We are not waiting for these jobs to be available then we put ourselves in a reactive mode. This launch here today is to ensure that all our stakeholders understand where we are going…and what we are prepared to do to ensure that our workers are trained to offer the best possible service there is,” he explained.

Dr. Wesley said Jamaica has an opportunity to be a global force in hospitality and tourism and that HEART Trust/NTA is prepared to take the lead in ensuring that a workforce of international repute is in place.