San­dals cer­ti­fies an­other 22 as trained hos­pi­tal­ity pro­fes­sion­als

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

San­dals Re­sorts in Saint Lucia has grad­u­ated an­other 22 young hos­pi­tal­ity pro­fes­sion­als through its Hos­pi­tal­ity Train­ing Pro­gram (HTP), now in its sev­enth year.

The in­tense ten-week ini­tia­tive looks to ex­pose young peo­ple to prac­ti­cal on-the-job train­ing in var­i­ous de­part­ments across the three San­dals prop­er­ties in Saint Lucia. Soft skills train­ing like cus­tomer ser­vice and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment are also pro­vided. Gen­eral Man­ager for San­dals Re­gency La Toc, Michael James, said the group has given them­selves the best gift for the hol­i­days through the com­mit­ment to their own train­ing and de­vel­op­ment in an arena that sus­tains the is­land’s growth and one that is evolv­ing glob­ally.

“There are al­ways defin­ing mo­ments in our lives and to­day is one of those mo­ments for you. You walk out of this room armed with the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, knowl­edge and skills that will open many doors for you. Hos­pi­tal­ity and Tourism is one of the most im­por­tant in­dus­tries on the planet and what you have achieved will take you places. You made that choice and you should con­grat­u­late your­selves,” James said.

From the grad­u­at­ing group, more than 50 per­cent have been se­lected for full-time jobs across var­i­ous de­part­ments on the three prop­er­ties.

The group was man­aged by the on-property Train­ing and De­vel­op­ment team with sup­port from the Hu­man Re­source Depart­ment.

The Hos­pi­tal­ity Train­ing Pro­gram be­gan in Ja­maica in Oc­to­ber 2006 as an­other ini­tia­tive by the com­pany’s Chair­man Gor­don ‘Butch’ Ste­wart and tar­gets young peo­ple over the age of 18 years with no for­mal train­ing in the in­dus­try.

Train­ing and De­vel­op­ment Man­ager for San­dals Re­gency La Toc, Jo­hanne Cal­ixte-Au­gustin said, “Our aim is to en­sure that we have pre­pared the Saint Lu­cian work­force for the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try: lo­cally, re­gion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

Noorani Azeez, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer for the Saint Lucia Tourism and Ho­tel As­so­ci­a­tion (SLHTA), served as the guest speaker for Fri­day’s event. He once held the of­fice of Train­ing and De­vel­op­ment Manger at San­dals La Toc. Azeez de­scribed San­dals as “the jewel in the crown” of Saint Lucia and Caribbean hos­pi­tal­ity.

He un­der­lined the com­pany’s sus­tained com­mit­ment to the on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment of not only the in­dus­try but also its own hu­man re­source cap­i­tal, which is ev­i­dent through its con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in train­ing and de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives like the HTP.

“San­dals cares about our peo­ple and this is demon­strated through its many train­ing pro­grams, its Cor­po­rate Univer­sity, its health ben­e­fits schemes, its pen­sion pro­gram and more, es­tab­lished for the se­cu­rity and growth of its hu­man re­sources,” Azeez said.

He added, “San­dals understand that what makes them the jewel in the crown in hos­pi­tal­ity are the peo­ple and this is demon­strated in the re­sources they pump into your de­vel­op­ment.”

The SLHTA CEO went on to note the wide range of cor­po­rate so­cial pro­grams that San­dals has un­der­taken through its in­di­vid­ual prop­er­ties and un­der the um­brella of its phil­an­thropic arm – the San­dals Foun­da­tion.

The HTP pro­gram runs for ten weeks en­com­pass­ing 420 hours of train­ing made up of soft and tech­ni­cal skills train­ing. At the end of the pro­gram all trainees are eval­u­ated through a stan­dard eval­u­a­tion process which ex­am­ines their per­for­mance over the pe­riod.

Hos­pi­tal­ity ac­counts for more than 30,000 jobs in Saint Lucia.

In keep­ing with Li­ons In­ter­na­tional Cen­ten­nial Ser­vice Chal­lenge to Re­live Hunger in the world, the mem­bers of the Li­ons Club of Cas­tries brought Christ­mas cheer to five fam­i­lies with vis­ually im­paired and blind per­sons.

The fam­i­lies were iden­ti­fied by the Vi­sion Care Team of the Saint Lucia Blind Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion as de­serv­ing of the ham­pers. The re­cip­i­ents were happy to re­ceive the food ham­pers and all ex­pressed their ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

The Li­ons Club said it was de­lighted to once again be able to make Christ­mas a joy­ful time for some fam­i­lies.

The grad­u­at­ing group from San­dals Re­gency La Toc with Gen­eral Man­ager Michael James.

A Li­ons mem­ber makes a pre­sen­ta­tion to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Saint Lucia Blind Wel­fare


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