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The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the Heart Trust/NTA has launched an interactive self-teaching CD-ROM, aimed at increasing the rate of training and certification of workers within the tourism sector.
The CD-ROM offers a new technological approach to level one training and certification in TPDCo’s Team-Jamaica training programme. The launch took place at the Sandals Montego Bay Hotel on Wednesday, April 5.Executive Director of TPDCo, Michael Muirhead, in addressing the ceremony, emphasized that the passion displayed by all participants in the Team-Jamaica training programme – trainer, manager and trainee – was unparalleled. “If we can have that passion permeating the entire Jamaica, then Team-Jamaica is truly what it should be, ‘Team-Jamaica’; together, everyone achieves more,” he said.
He pointed out that it was within the mandate of TPDCo to strive to enhance visitor experience, and to fulfill that commitment, the agency was targeting not only the more than 85,000 workers in the industry with the programme, but the approximately 200,000 persons attached to the tourism industry, both directly and indirectly.
Mr. Muirhead said the launch of the CD-Rom was just the first step in trying to roll out a programme to reach everyone that has to interact with visitors to the island.
Minister of State for Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said the most important advantage that Jamaica’s tourism had, was its people. “Since it is effective training that unlocks the human potential, I am sure we are at one in the conviction that our tourism product development cannot be sustained without it,” he added.
He outlined the importance of teamwork and the incredible value created, especially when the work is done with a shared vision. He said that through the TPDCo/HEART collaboration, the CD-ROM was just the beginning, as the intention was to create more cutting edge training opportunities, in keeping with the dynamism within the industry.
“With this CD-ROM, we expect that the access to training will increase. We expect that we will have between 20 and 30 per cent increase in the number of persons that will be trained,” the State Minister said.
President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Horace Peterkin, expressed his organization’s approval of the Team-Jamaica training programme, and gave an assurance that the JHTA would continue to encourage all its members to make sure that their staff members were Team-Jamaica certified.
“I can say that we are pleased to be associated with the advancement of the Team-Jamaica programme by the development of this interactive self-teaching CD-ROM. We know that this new learning methodology will make it possible to achieve the original goal of training the entire work force that is employed directly in tourism, which now stands at about 85,000 persons and rising,” he said.
He said that with the application of the new technology, soon it would be practical to make Team-Jamaica certification a requirement of every position within the tourism industry.