Mandeville Weekly News

TOURISM MINISTER HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY

Posted by SR (riley) on Jan 20 2017 at 1:29 AM
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Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the establishment of a craft institute and the building of a school of hospitality to train tourism workers should be beneficial to Jamaica.According to the Minister, both ventures will coincide with the expected growth within the sector and the need for Jamaican workers to be ready to capitalise on available opportunities.  “The idea for a school of hospitality was born out of the need to prepare the Jamaican worker for top-paying jobs within the tourism industry,” he said.

“Over 15,000 hotel rooms are slated to come on stream over the next three to five years and we have to prepare our workers to fill some of the managerial and supervisory positions that will be available,” Minister  Bartlett said, pointing out that there are many specialist jobs within the hotel sector that require a certain skill set, noting that oftentimes these positions are filled by foreigners because of the lack of preparation and training on the part of many of the Jamaican workers.  “One of the most recognisable and sought-after positions within the hotel sector is Sous Chef.  The hospitality school will now prepare our workers to take up those kinds of positions, putting us in charge of what I like to refer to as the commanding heights of tourism,” he said.

Minister  Bartlett said that tourism should reach stratospheric heights in the coming years and Jamaicans must position themselves to capitalise on the opportunities.  “We want them to have meaningful careers in the sector where they can lead stable lives and be able to provide for their families,” he added.Meanwhile, the Minister said the time was long overdue for the creation of a craft institute and the building of artisan villages to better position the craft traders to compete in a highly competitive market.  “When I go to countries overseas and visit their artisan villages, I am seeing genuine and authentic products that reflect the craftsmanship and geniuses of the artists that reside in those countries,” he  said.

“I want to see the same thing in our craft markets, where the products are authentic and are made right here in Jamaica.  They should be indigenous to our culture and provide a symbolic value to the purchaser,” Minister  Bartlett added.The Ministry of Tourism recently announced that Cabinet has approved plans for the construction of a school of hospitality and also the establishment of a craft institute.

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