- TPDCo's Tourism Summer Intern Programme (TSIP) a major success.
- The programme “exposed young academics to the vision of tourism and the role it plays in our society".
- TPDCo also supported intervention programmes of local entities and groups by assigning interns to work.
The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) has deemed its recently-concluded Tourism Summer Intern Programme (TSIP) a major success, with key objectives met.
Highlighting the initiative to JIS News, Community Awareness Co-ordinator at TPDCo, Marline Stephenson Dalley, noted that the programme “exposed young academics to the vision of tourism and the role it plays in our society, building on partnerships that exist with TPDCo and the tourism sector, as well as providing an economic opportunity for deserving students.”
The programme, which was held over a two-month period (July and August), saw close to 700 students between 16 and 25 years of age being trained and placed across the island, particularly in the resort areas of Negril, Montego Bay, Port Antonio, Kingston, Mandeville and the South Coast.
Mrs. Stephenson Dalley pointed out that before placement, the interns had to participate in a two-day training exercise to become fully sensitised about the business of tourism, and covered areas such as customer service; tourism, environmental, security and cultural awareness; and marketing of brand Jamaica.
“Our interns were placed for three weeks in most cases, in some 160 tourism entities, including accommodations, attractions, and the travel trade. We also had some persons placed at the Institute of Jamaica, the Best Community Foundation, Bob Marley Foundation, Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment and TPDCo,” she informed.
The Co-ordinator added that TPDCo also supported intervention programmes of local entities and groups by assigning interns to work in different capacities.
“The Montego Bay Marine Park had an environmental camp for inner-city children and our interns were able to assist over those four weeks; and the Discovery Bay Marine Lab also had an intervention and we were able to facilitate all of their camp counsellors. The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Kingston also had a camp and TPDCo had a special project in its Quality Department and we were able to place interns in some specific data entry areas for the six weeks,” Mrs. Stephenson Dalley outlined.
In terms of feedback, she noted that “the evaluations (from the participating entities) have been very good overall…many of the interns have even secured permanent employment and others have asked for recommendations, which will now take them to the next level, whether it is a new career or going back to further their tertiary studies,” she said.
The programme, now in its fifth year, is funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), which allocated $18 million for this year’s implementation.