The Western Hospitality Institute’s Negril Campus in Westmoreland now has a skills training centre, which will strengthen programme delivery in tourism and hospitality education at the facility.
The $10-million project was undertaken through funding from the Government of Japan, under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.
It included rehabilitation of an existing building to house eight bedrooms to be utilised as housekeeping labs, a library, computer room and three classrooms.
Speaking at the official handover ceremony on Tuesday (December 8), Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Masaya Fujiwara, said his government is pleased to be able to contribute to human resource development in tourism, which is a key sector in Jamaica’s western region.
“This innovative training centre will provide the requisite skills and training for school-leavers and unattached youths to continue their academic and vocation training,” he noted.
“I do hope the Western Hospitality Institute will continue to thrive and improve upon the foundation now in place,” he added.
Principal of the campus, Eladio Vassell, said that the management, staff and students are grateful to the Government of Japan for undertaking the project.
“Students from communities here in Negril and adjoining areas in Westmoreland can access quality education in a comfortable environment,” he said.
Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, Councillor Bertel Moore, in his remarks, encouraged the students to make the best use of the skills training provided at the Western Hospitality Institute.
He said that Japan has been a long-standing partner in the development of Westmoreland, noting that the parish has benefited from the donation of two fire trucks and two ambulances.