Sandals to launch corporate university
The Sandals Group, which operates 17 hotels in several Caribbean countries, will be launching the Sandals Corporate University (SCU) in Jamaica on Wednesday, partly to provide certification to staff without formal academic qualifications.
St Lucia's Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony is one of four regional prime ministers set to attend the launch of the institution that Sandals refers to "as the first of its kind in the Caribbean".
Other regional leaders expected to attend the event in Ocho Rios, St Ann, are Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, his Bahamian counterpart, Hubert Ingraham, and host Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
"The SCU will certify staff members currently without formal academic qualifications and provide qualified team members with an avenue to advance their education," Sandals said in a statement, noting that the programmes will place staff on a learning pathway that can ultimately lead to master's and/or doctoral degrees.
The programmes are being offered through partnerships with internationally recognised Ryerson University in Canada, Western Hospitality Institute in Jamaica, and the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning, which will provide classes in mathematics and English for those in pursuit of high-school equivalency.
Wide array of disciplines
"The corporate university's courses and programmes range from basic hospitality-specific training to professional certifications covering an array of disciplines.
"The courses are designed to meet internationally accredited standards and will be administered by certified hospitality educators trained by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute and Sandals-trained certified departmental trainers," said the statement from Sandals.
According to the company, SCU students can earn credits for future educational development by obtaining certificates through the Sandals hospitality management programme or from the SCU's prior learning assessment for industry experienced team members.
In addition to receiving practical training in specific disciplines, SCU will focus on eight key learning objectives. Among them will be the SCU competency assessment, examining the knowledge, skills and attitudes employees require to perform efficiently.
Sandals said that while SCU core courses are free to team members, the courses offered in conjunction with external institutions may attract a cost.