Wed | Jan 29, 2020

Invest in continuous training, urges JHTA head

Published:Thursday | October 31, 2019 | 12:13 AM

President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Omar Robinson, has called on employers in the tourism sector to invest in continuous training of their employees to maintain high standards.

Robinson, who is also general manager at the Round Hill Hotel in Hanover, says the development of our human capital is the ultimate objective of economic growth development.

“Employers must continuously invest both time and money in the training of their employees to improve their development and skill sets, which will positively impact their service delivery,” Robinson said.

He was one of several speakers at the recent staging of the third graduation ceremony of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI) programme, that has partnered with the American Hotel and Lodging Institute (AHLI) and the American Culinary Foundation (ACF) to provide training and certification for more than 1,300 employees in various categories in the sector since 2017.

Robinson noted that the type of training provided by the JCTI is especially focused on boosting the island’s tourism product by providing trained and certified workers who can elevate their organisations’ status.

And permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith, says she was making a special appeal to the organisations that assist with the training and certification to continue the collaboration, as their role remains vital in the success of the programme.

Executive director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Dr Andrew Spencer, says his organisation stands ready to make the necessary decisions to ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the JCTI and its offerings.

“We appreciate the importance of expanding the reach of certification. Therefore, we will be pioneering a movement to deliver innovative modalities to a new and diverse cohort,” Dr Spencer said.

Meanwhile, Professor David Tennant, dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies, encouraged all participants in the JCTI certification programme to convert their achievement into tangible success on the next phase of their journey.

“Make the excellence that you have achieved so far a habit for the rest of your lives and in all areas of your lives. Having tasted excellence and the rewards that it yields, I encourage you to never be satisfied with mediocrity,” Professor Tennant said.