300 youth to be trained in bartending by D&G Foundation
Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia Grange (front row/ centre), Dianne Ashton-Smith, head of corporate affairs at Red Stripe and Andrew Spencer, executive director of TPDco (second row) pose for a photo with the first batch of youngsters to be trained under the programme.
A total of 300 youth will be trained as mixologists under Red Stripe’s Learning for Life Programme.
Learning for Life, which is funded by the Desnoes and Geddes Foundation seeks to equip young people with training and life skills.
Through a partnership with HEART Trust NTA, Red Stripe will use its Diageo Bar Academy, to deliver tailored skills and relevant knowledge-based tools to aspiring bartenders.
The first set of 25, who will be trained as mixologists, started on Monday at Red Stripe's Spanish Town Road facilities. Participants will undergo have two weeks of classroom training and four weeks of internship.
A total of 100 youngsters from the corporate area will be trained before the programme moves to Mandeville and then to Portland, before culminating on the island's north coast, with participants from St Ann, St Mary and Montego Bay, St James.
The internship will be done at some of Red Stripe's customers, with D&G Foundation paying the participants while they go gain work experience in the field.
Red Stripe Learning for Life bartending programme launch
Click the slider for highlights of the programme launch by Marlon Reid
Entertainment Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, encouraged the participants to make use of the opportunity, as she said certification of the nation's youths will help the country achieve the 2030 goal of being the place to work, live and do business.
She said certification will also develop the business acumen of Jamaicans with the training assisting to ensure that "no one is left behind" as this will enable true and sustainable prosperity.
Red Stripe’s Learning For Life Programme has enriched the lives of 16,400 Jamaicans since starting in 2008, with skills training in areas such retail, agriculture, entrepreneurship and mixology, according to Dianne Ashton-Smith, head of corporate affairs at Red Stripe.
Ashton-Smith told the participants the training will open avenues, while also starting the process of enriching the lives of their children, especially since the world is moving towards skills-based work.
Dianne Ashton-Smith (left), head of corporate affairs at Red Stripe makes a point to Entertainment Minister Olivia Grange (centre) and Chairman of the D&G Foundation, Noel daCosta (right). Photo: Marlon Reid.
Marlon Johnson, director of business development and workforce solutions at HEART Trust/NTA, said the government agency plays a key role in the training ecosystem of the country, especially with the 2030 vision of greater access to education and training that will leave no one behind.
He said training the youth will result in greater productivity, profits at the micro level and growth for companies.
He noted that the agency is now doing training at workplaces and homes, with the goal of having all Jamaicans certified.
Executive director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO), Dr Andrew Spencer, speaking on behalf of Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, said the training will help to fill the gap between the creativity of Jamaicans and certification.
He said that tourism is about understanding the product and the training of mixologists fits into the government's gastronomy network, which has become a major part of global travel, especially with Red Stripe being "one of the world's greatest beers".
The participants also got a testimonial from Sean Hopkins, who graduated from the programme in 2011 and have teamed with other graduates to form Well-Skilled Entertainment, which will lead the training this year.