This year, the Jamaica Centre of Tourist Innovation (JCTI) is raising public awareness of its certification programs, with a particular focus on the Hotel and Tourism Management Program for high schools, in order to prepare the incoming workforce to better satisfy the emerging expectations of the tourism and hospitality industry.
“The work being done by the JCTI is extremely critical to our continued push for human capital development. Our people are the driving force behind our continued success, and we understand that to stay top of mind in the market and preserve our competitive advantage, we must invest in our people by training and certifying them to improve their stackable credentials,” said Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
“The HTMP program is particularly critical. In fact, the first cohort of the HTMP has completed their course of study in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Youth. These 177 graduates now have an AHLEI certificate and an Associate Degree in Customer Service, and they are prepared to work in entry-level positions in the sector. We are confident that these young individuals from all around the country will help to boost the sector’s competitiveness in the post-COVID-19 future, “he added.
The JCTI anticipates that in two years, many of these graduates will be qualified for certification as supervisors because of their work experience and training. Supervisors who have earned certification are usually on a clear path to becoming managers.
Graduates will obtain two types of certifications: the HTMP Certificate from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and an OAD in Customer Service from the Ministry of Education & Youth upon completion.
Graduates will have training in housekeeping, resort operations, food and beverage, and finance through HTMP. Customer service, workplace communications, computer applications, and conversational Spanish are among the OAD courses. Workplace psychology is among the list of specialized courses.
Since the JCTI’s inception in 2017, more than 10,000 people have benefited from certification.
JCTI is expanding its Learning Management System to Caribbean tourism workers and students this year, as well as launching a database of certified workers. All of the agency’s projects are linked to the Human Capital Development Strategy of the Ministry of Tourism.
Honorable Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, told an industry meeting last week that Jamaica must train human resources and design for portability in order to meet new needs and ensure its own survival.
In a similar vein to the Minister, Clifton Reader, President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, stated that his group is collaborating with educational institutions to align human resource demands with available opportunities.
According to JCTI Director Carol Rose Brown, the agency is aggressive about certification and anticipates demand for its courses to increase as the hospitality industry recovers.
The Director also anticipates greater collaboration among the partners in the sector to align training and certification with demand, as well as closer relationships between the hotel managers and the universities. These developments augur well for the sector.