Nearly 2000 to benefit from tourism summer internship
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has announced that $28.5 million will be spent to place 1,800 high-school students across Jamaica in a six-week summer programme.
The students will be placed in 200 tourism-related businesses with a view to providing them with practical exposure to job opportunities in the tourism sector.
Bartlett made the announcement during Thursday's official launch of the Tourism Product Development Company's (TPDCo) Tourism Summer Internship Programme and Housing Opportunity Production and Employment initiative. The launch was held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James.
Largest Summer Programme
"Approximately 1,800 students from across the island will benefit from professional experience while earning an income, and we are spending J$28.5 million to make that happen. This represents the largest tourism summer intern[ship] programme that we've had to date," Bartlett said in his keynote address.
"In the next six weeks, 200 businesses will absorb the 1,800 of you who will be spread across Jamaica," Bartlett told the interns. "This programme goes across the length and breadth of Jamaica, because we asked all 63 members of Parliament to contribute to it. This is indeed a national programme for the youth of our country."
The internship programme launch took place a day after the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Education signed a memorandum of understanding, in which 650 high-school students island-wide will benefit from a J$100 million programme which will give them internationally recognised certification in the tourism industry.
During his address on Thursday, Bartlett told the interns that the summer programme will give them hands-on experience for future application.
"Tourism is not just about wonderful foreigners who come here and indulge our wonderful cuisine. It is also a means of transmitting knowledge to you, so you can learn more and be able to pass on the knowledge later on," said Bartlett.