Headley: Min­istry’s tourism train­ing pro­gramme ‘ab­so­lutely bril­liant’

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

THE ON­GO­ING Ja­maica Cen­tre for Tourism In­no­va­tion (JCTI) train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion spear­headed by the Min­istry of Tourism is be­ing hailed as an “ab­so­lutely bril­liant” ini­tia­tive by gen­eral man­ager of Sandy Haven Ho­tel in Ne­gril, Robert Headley.

The prop­erty re­cently hosted some 107 bar­tenders, who un­der­went the 36-hour J. Wray & Nephew train­ing course lead­ing to their in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Headley, who is also vice-pres­i­dent of the Ja­maica Ho­tel and Tourist As­so­ci­a­tion, thinks the pro­gramme will pro­vide an ad­van­tage to the sec­tor, giv­ing it a more in­formed and tech­ni­cally sound work­force bet­ter able to com­pete re­gion­ally and glob­ally.

STRONG FOUN­DA­TION

With re­gard to the tim­ing of the train­ing, the hote­lier says that all the work done in the past to build the tourism in­dus­try to this level formed the foun­da­tion on which it is now con­tin­u­ing to build.

“We can­not dis­credit any of those ef­forts of the past; where we are now is based on the work of the peo­ple gone be­fore, and we have built on all ideas, whether old or new,” said Headley.

He noted that in­sti­tu­tions such as the HEART Trust/Na­tional Train­ing Agency has done a lot, so it is time to step things up by build­ing on that knowl­edge into the realm of top-level cer­ti­fi­ca­tion through in­ter­na­tional part­ner­ships.

Headley has high praises for the team of bar­tenders who were re­cently cer­ti­fied. “They com­pleted 36 hours of re­fresher (and in some cases), first-time train­ing and are now, both more ed­u­cated and mo­ti­vated. Those who had the knowl­edge and did not use it are now en­er­gised, and their con­fi­dence has been boosted,” he said.

Of the longevity of the pro­gramme, Headley is con­fi­dent that it will con­tinue into the fu­ture and that any changes made will be to make it bet­ter.

“Tourism is the ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to Ja­maica’s econ­omy. We and the peo­ple who are in it have to in­ter­act with other in­ter­na­tional play­ers ev­ery day, so the train­ing that is put in place to im­prove our qual­ity of­fer­ings must be sus­tain­able,” he said.

Mean­while, com­mu­nity train­ing in­ter­ven­tion spe­cial­ist Fre­dreca Ram­say from the Lucy Skills Train­ing Cen­tre re­cently de­liv­ered the 36-hour J. Wray & Nephew train­ing pro­gramme for bar­tenders in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

She trained the bar­tenders and con­cludes that they have gained new in­sights into ar­eas such as mixol­ogy and bar op­er­a­tions – sub­jects they were knowl­edge­able of but were not cer­ti­fied in. The end re­sult of the train­ing is that the grad­u­ates will now be en­abled to per­form at a higher stan­dard any­where in the world.

“The stu­dents were very entertaining and re­cep­tive dur­ing the course. Oth­ers were ner­vous, some chal­leng­ing, but they all had to learn to do things the right way,” said Ram­say when asked to speak to the at­ti­tude of the bar­tenders to the course.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Gen­eral man­ager of Sandy Haven Ho­tel in Ne­gril, Robert Headley.

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