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Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, on Friday (June 16) launched the ‘Spruce Up Jamaica’ Summer Internship Programme, through which approximately 800 students from across the island will be employed at tourism-related entities over a six-week period.
The summer programme, which is in its third year, is sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), and targets students at the secondary and tertiary levels.
In his address at the launching ceremony held at the Tourism Centre on Queen’s Drive, Montego Bay, Mr. Golding said that getting young people exposed to tourism will expand knowledge and understanding of the industry, and its importance to the overall economy.
“We have to do more to integrate tourism within the overall economy. For a long time, we have grown up and we have treated tourism as if it was something external to the economy,” he pointed out.
“We hope that you (the participants), through the experience that you will get, will become almost messengers about how important tourism is, and how tourism ought to be tied in with everything else,” he stated.
Mr. Golding encouraged the participants to make the best use of the opportunity, noting that those who do well could land permanent jobs after completing school.
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, in his address, informed that the objectives of the summer employment programme are: to sensitise young people about the values and the contribution that tourism must make; and build work ethic and a culture of performance, which is so important for the country to increase productivity and production and consequently, enhance competitiveness.
“So much depends on our human capital, so much depends on building your capacity and your capability to do more, to deliver more and to be more productively,” he stated.

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