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  • The Universal Service Fund (USF) has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to facilitate Wi-Fi access in the delivery of the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI) online courses.
  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who made the disclosure at the virtual launch of 11 free online courses being offered by the JCTI for hotel industry workers, on April 22, said the USF will be providing these services through its 193 Community Access Points (CAPs).
  • “The USF is a new partner that has come on board to ensure connectivity and access in the various communities across Jamaica. The USF is a critical partner, as we seek to ensure access for those who do not have technology at home,” Mr. Bartlett noted.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to facilitate Wi-Fi access in the delivery of the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI) online courses.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who made the disclosure at the virtual launch of 11 free online courses being offered by the JCTI for hotel industry workers, on April 22, said the USF will be providing these services through its 193 Community Access Points (CAPs).

“The USF is a new partner that has come on board to ensure connectivity and access in the various communities across Jamaica. The USF is a critical partner, as we seek to ensure access for those who do not have technology at home,” Mr. Bartlett noted.

He said the CAPs, which are located across the parishes of Trelawny, St. James, St. Ann and Westmoreland, will provide computer and Wi-Fi facilities to candidates who do not have these services.

“Students without access to smartphones (and the other necessary technology) will be able to utilise the CAPs in these parishes to participate in the courses and access course material. We are partnering with the USF to use the 193 functional CAPs across these parishes,” he outlined.

He lauded the USF for its support of the initiative, noting that partnerships of this nature are critical in the challenging environment created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Investment in human capital is a policy that always pays off. This is why my Ministry has made this a cornerstone of our tourism growth strategy. A highly skilled, educated and job-ready workforce is essential for tourism success. We must never lose sight of the value that people bring to destination quality and that the essence of our experience is the quality of the services that we provide,” he emphasised.

The online courses being offered by the JCTI are in the areas of laundry attendant, gift room attendant, kitchen stewards/porters, public area sanitation, hospitality team leaders, certified banquet servers, certified restaurant servers, food safety, certified hospitality supervisors, introduction to Spanish, and disc jock (DJ) certification.

All courses will include certification examinations. Successful candidates will receive certificates from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), or the HEART/NSTA Trust. The programmes will be facilitated by HEART/NSTA Trust certified tutors.

The courses, which will last until late July 2020, are being provided free of cost to industry workers who were laid off recently due to the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality sector.

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