KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica is hoping its workforce training program will bolster tourism following the damage to the industry caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The free online programs, offered by the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI), in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, University of the West Indies Open Campus and HEART National Service Training Agency, is training more than 8,000 tourism workers over a 12-week period, according to the government. It is scheduled to run through this month.
Courses were designed to enhance the skills of hospitality workers, deliver internationally recognized certifications and educate the workforce on the new health and safety protocols that were rolled out with the June 15 re-opening of the island’s tourist industry.
“Jamaica’s extraordinary workforce has been essential to our success as a sought-after vacation destination,” Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism, was quoted as saying in a recent press release.
“We applaud the more than 8,000 individuals who took advantage of the online training program. We appreciate the training these workers have undergone to enhance their competitiveness and ensure they’re ready to meet the new demands of the travel industry.
“Travelers will appreciate the special focus and extra attention Jamaica’s hospitality workers place on service delivery in the context of the new post-COVID health and safety protocols.”
Workers were allowed to choose from 11 online courses and obtain certifications that include guest room attendant, laundry attendant, certified banquet server, hospitality supervisor, restaurant server and hospitality law.
“Jamaica has an educated and highly trained workforce and these courses provide a great opportunity for these valuable workers to re-tool and upskill,” Carol Rose Brown, director of JCTI, explained in the release.
To learn more about Jamaica’s re-opening, visit www.visitjamaica.com/travelupdate.