Regional

Stewart defends SRI’s investment in human capital

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter WHITEHOUSE, Westmoreland

Thursday, May 29, 2014    

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CHIEF Executive Officer of Sandals Resorts International (SRI) Adam Stewart says that SRI's decision against curtailing spending on training and development of its staff members despite recessionary conditions is testaimony to the company's unswerving commitment to the growth of its human capital.

"...And (when) we started talking about what is most important..... you got to recognise we were just coming off the crest of the recession and companies were cutting back everywhere. But we made a fundamental decision at SRI that we could cut many, many things, but we would not cut training and development one iota," the SRI CEO stated.

"The training and development of human capital is the best way to satisfy customers," Stewart stressed.

He was speaking at the 2014 Sandals Management Trainee Graduation Ceremony held at the Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa in Westmoreland on Monday.

The Sandals Management Trainee Programme was re-launched in 2012 as an addition to the resort chain's ongoing thrust to invest in capacity building throughout its operations.

The two-year programme, originally introduced in the mid-1980s, represents an added feature of Sandals Resorts' on-going investment in training that includes the Hospitality Training Programme which exposes unattached high school graduates to the operations of various departments in the resorts; as well as continuous on-the-job training sessions, scholarship opportunities, as well as workshops and seminars for team members through the Sandals Corporate University.

The cohort of 20 graduands are poised to take up management and assistant management roles throughout Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Resorts across the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, noting the World Tourism Organisation's projection that international tourist arrivals to the Caribbean are expected to grow by an estimated 3.5 per cent, valedictorian Delino Moss warned that the only way to maximise the opportunities that such a growth will present, is "to be prepared by way of training".

"The only way we will be able to capitalise on this growth projection is through investments such as the Management Training Programme and other activities such as this throughout the Caribbean," Moss argued, adding: "There is no greater investment in

life than the investment in people."

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