Tue | Sep 28, 2021

Key Advantage to fix middle-management crisis in tourism sector

Published:Monday | July 26, 2021 | 12:09 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Jamaica’s tourism sector is facing a middle-management crisis, which Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) president, Clifton Reader, is calling on the island’s newest training group, Key Advantage, to fix.

“We have the right material just below middle managers, but we have no one to bring them to that level where they can become full departmental managers, where they can become executive managers,” Reader told guests at the launch of Key Advantage Training and Recruitment Solutions (KATRS) last Saturday at the Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay.

Ann-Marie Goffe-Pryce, chief executive officer and founder of KATRS, and her team combined boast over 50 years of experience in the hospitality sector, and as practitioners with a proven track record, the JHTA has enough reasons to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with them on Saturday.

“This is the first time I can say in my 35 years in the tourism industry that I see a training institution headed by a practitioner, and this will make it different. I am convinced that based on the breakdown of skills at Key Advantage, you can do it,” Reader told the group.

In fact, he went further, suggesting that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) invest money in KATRS under an incubator programme, which seems not to have been announced as yet.

The incubator programme takes a company and supports its development, and a critical area such as training, the JHTA president acknowledges, must be an investment and not a cost to companies involved in the sector.

Reader, who is the head honcho at Moon Palace Jamaica, one of the largest resorts on the island, spoke of the difficulty he and his human resources face regularly trying to fill middle-management positions.

Lamenting that not being able to move staff from one level to the next was a sad situation, while sometimes forced to import labour, Reader said this was the last thing they wanted to do because this was a more expensive option.

He said this was the first time that a company like KATRS was going to be matching labour needs with supply and demand.

KATRS’s CEO, Goffe Pryce, said that the idea of “simply providing the key to unlocking the limitless potential that we know our people (our stars) possess” gave birth to the organisation.

Established in March 2021, the general objective of KATRS is to propel people and organisations, particularly those in the hospitality, business process outsourcing, and sales and retail industries, towards greater success.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com