KINGSTON, Jamaica — More than 800 students have been selected to participate in this year’s Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) Summer Internship Programme.
The programme will take place over two cycles and will see the first batch of interns working from June 27 to July 22, while the second batch will work from August 2 to 26.
Director of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI), a department of the TEF, Carol Rose Brown, told JIS News that the interns will work for four weeks in the public and private sectors, in areas relating to tourism, education and health, among others.
“They are stretched across the length and breadth of the country. We have students that work in every parish and they are working in a variety of types of work,” said Ms. Brown.
Successful candidates were selected from a pool of more than 7,000 applicants, based on scores obtained in the aptitude test as well as the criteria of employers.
“All of the candidates who are invited to take up an assignment have the opportunity to get the American Hotels and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) Customer Service Gold Professional Certification,” Ms. Brown informed. She said they will also receive an added certification through the HEART/NSTA Trust.
Brown also indicated that students without a bank account will be assisted with getting one through the National Commercial Bank, where they will be provided with a prepaid Mastercard.
“We will pay them through this Mastercard. All of these payments will be uploaded online, so the young people will not have to queue up any place to get paid… It will be done seamlessly through digital technology,” said Brown.
She further highlighted that the internship programme is geared towards introducing participants to the world of work.
“We want them to understand about the seriousness of the workspace, the necessity of being on time and communicating with your superior about what you are doing, how to be clear about answering when you are asked a question. We want them to understand about the rules of times for break, lunch and when you leave,” she said.
The director also mentioned wanting interns to understand that there is an appropriate way to dress and conduct themselves while in office.
At the end of both cycles of the programme, employers will be asked to do an evaluation of each intern. The evaluation will guide how prizes are awarded.
The TEF Summer Internship programme is in its 15th year and has benefited thousands of students between the ages of 17 and 25 years.