The tourism minister said the certifying initiative will involve partners such as the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), and will be targeted at persons “who have no certification, but are performing well at their jobs in hotels and other places in the tourism sector”.
“We have to build the capacity of our workers to meet demand. This is why, in the last three and a half years, the Government has introduced the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation, which is a pathway training facility that certifies workers on the job,” he noted.
“We’ve done 1,300 workers already and we plan to do 8,000 of you by 2022,” Bartlett said, pointing out that that the Ministry is also certifying students in high school.
“We have 33 schools that we started working with last year to provide an associate degree programme for students in hotel management and customer service. The first set will graduate this year as qualified entrants into the tourism sector,” he said.
“We are talking with the universities to do short courses in tourism and law, starting at the western campus and also tourism and security and tourism and health, because all of these are important areas,” he added.
Minister Bartlett said that as the tourism sector continues to grow, the certification of workers has to increase to meet demand.
“Tourism has provided a consistent employment base for a large number of Jamaicans over the years. In the past, we had seasonal tourism, but today, with 4.3 million visitors coming to Jamaica, we no longer have a seasonal industry, but we have an all-year-round industry that employs people,” he noted.
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