Jamaica’s workforce training program is being hailed as a resounding success. 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, the University of the West Indies Open Campus and HEART National Service Training Agency, trained more than 8,000 tourism workers over a 12 week period. 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 reopening of the island’s tourist industry.
“Jamaica’s extraordinary workforce has been essential to our success as a sought-after vacation destination. We applaud the more than 8,000 individuals who took advantage of the online training program,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “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.”
The free online training program, which usually costs approximately J$9,000 per person, runs through July. The Ministry of Tourism’s significant investment in Jamaica’s human capital underscores the importance of people to Jamaica’s tourism product. Workers could 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. As part of the training, participants were presented with scenarios that help them better understand and quickly address real time guest needs and challenges in a post-COVID travel environment.
“Jamaica has an educated and highly trained workforce and these courses provide a great opportunity for these valuable workers to retool and upskill,” said Carol Rose Brown, Director of JCTI. “Our courses are internationally benchmarked and represent a smart investment in self-development, for which participants and Jamaica will reap rewards in both the short and long term.”
A comprehensive set of measures are now in place to ensure the safety and well-being of guests throughout their stay. Furthermore, travel partners have implemented a series of changes to enhance the visitor experience.
With the destination now open to international visitors, hospitality workers are well prepared to safely deliver Jamaica’s world class service, in accordance with the new post-COVID health and safety protocols.