JIS News

The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) in collaboration with the HEART Trust/NTA and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), will be launching a Team Jamaica self-teaching CD-ROM, in keeping with initiatives to provide training and certification of workers in the tourism sector.
The launch will take place on Wednesday, April 5 at Sandals Montego Bay, beginning at 11:00 a.m. The level 1 CD-ROM is designed for use as an instrumental tool and self-teaching courseware, and it is anticipated that its introduction will increase training in the tourism sector by 30 per cent.
Included in the CD package are: an interactive 14-module course of study, which is carefully designed and arranged for progressive learning; a team member participant’s handbook; learning support resources and post module assessments.
Executive Manager for the Tourism Training Division at TPDCo, Hugh Shim, outlined that for a reasonable fee, tourism workers would be able to register at an assessment centre, collect a CD package and complete the Team Jamaica modules for level 1, in their own time and at their own pace.
He explained that on completion of the self-assessment tests, persons would be required to take their results to a designated assessment centre, where they would be given a written and oral examination. Successful candidates will be certified as Team Jamaica level 1 team members.
According to Mr. Shim, the self-teaching CD-ROM “gives more flexibility to the delivery and learning of the programme” and was suitable for persons with “heavy schedules, complicated working hours,” and who would not be able to attend the regular classroom sessions.
Director of Projects and Partnerships at HEART Trust/NTA, Elizabeth Terry, told JIS News that HEART has given financial support and has worked closely with TPDCo in the design of the CD-ROM.
“It is the first time that HEART has developed an interactive self-teaching CD-ROM,” Mrs. Terry revealed, adding that the institution has assisted in the overall “monitoring of the feat of work that will be showcased next Wednesday.”
Team Jamaica is a mandatory training and certification programme designed to improve tourism product knowledge, customer service skills and the attitudes of all persons employed within the hospitality and tourism sector. The training modules cover tourism awareness, customer service, self-development, Jamaican history, geography, attractions, culture (cuisine and music), environmental awareness and teamwork.
TPDCo introduced the programme in 1997, on a directive from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, that all 70,000 workers in the tourism sector must be exposed to training and certification. To date, 12,000 persons, ranging from hotel executives, waiters, front office attendants to security personnel, have been trained.
Approximately 1,600 persons per year are trained directly by TPDCo, while the HEART Trust trains an additional 3,200 others, based on a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies in April 2004. Team Jamaica certification is a requirement for obtaining a Jamaica Tourist Board licence and work permits for the tourism sector.
Other levels of the Team Jamaica training and certification programme include: level 2 for supervisors; level 3 for line managers; level 4 for general managers and level 5 for instructors of the programme.

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