USF partners with tourism ministry to provide online coursesFriday, April 24, 2020
THE Universal Service Fund (USF) has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to facilitate Wi-Fi access in the delivery of Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI) online courses.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, who made the disclosure Wednesday at the virtual launch of 11 free online courses being offered by the JCTI tor hotel industry workers, said the USF will be providing these services through its 193 community access points (CAPs).
“The USF is a new partner that has come on board to ensure connectivity and access in the various communities across Jamaica. The USF is a critical partner as we seek to ensure access for those who do not have technology at home,” Mr Bartlett noted.
He said the CAPs, which are located across the parishes of Trelawny, St James, St Ann and Westmoreland, will provide computer and Wi-Fi facilities to candidates who do not have these services.
“Students without access to smartphones [and other necessary technology] will be able to utilise the CAPs in these parishes to participate in the courses and access course material. We are partnering with the USF to use the 193 functional CAPs across these parishes,” he outlined.
Bartlett lauded the USF for its support of the initiative, noting that partnerships of this nature are critical in the challenging environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Investment in human capital is a policy that always pays off. This is why my ministry has made this a cornerstone of our tourism growth strategy. A highly skilled, educated and job-ready workforce is essential for tourism success. We must never lose sight of the value that people bring to destination quality, and that the essence of our experience is the quality of the services that we provide,” he said.
The online courses being offered by the JCTI are for posts such as laundry attendant, gift room attendant, kitchen stewards/porters, hospitality team leaders, certified banquet servers, certified restaurant servers, certified hospitality supervisors, and in the areas of public area sanitation, food safety, introduction to Spanish, and disc jock certification.
All courses will include certification examinations. Successful candidates will receive certificates from National Restaurant Association, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, or HEART Trust/NSTA. The programmes will be facilitated by HEART Trust/NSTA-certified tutors.
The courses, which will last until late July 2020, are being provided free of cost to industry workers who were laid off recently due to the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality sector.