Hospitality school to train Jamaicans for senior positions in hotel sector
A Jamaican school of hospitality geared towards training persons for middle-management and senior staff positions in the tourism industry is to receive its first batch of students in 2018.
On Wednesday, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, Education Minister Ruel Reid, and Donald Hawkins, professor emeritus of management and tourism studies at George Washington University in the United States, signed an agreement at Jamaica House to create a business case for the hospitality school.
The school will target graduates from hospitality institutions and persons with years of experience in the sector who desire a higher level of training.
Hawkins will be working with a team from both the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the George Washington University to produce a business plan that will guide the establishment of the school.
The ministry will be developing curricula around hospitality and spa management, gastronomy development and event management in areas such as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.
Commenting on opportunities in the area of shopping, Bartlett said this was untapped and it was time for the country to open this door. "We need to train and develop people who understand merchandising and how to deal with high-end products," he noted.
An initial $400 million will be allocated in the 2017-2018 Budget for the establishment of the school, which Bartlett said would become the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
The minister added that the proposed hospitality school is part of the Government's strategies and policies to drive its growth objectives of five million arrivals in five years; earning US$5 billion in the same period, creating 125,000 additional jobs and building out 15,000 new rooms.