Jamaicans to be equipped for high-skilled jobs in tourism
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica is moving quickly to capitalise on the opportunities for high-skilled employment in tourism.
The Minister, who was speaking at a recent reception at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay to welcome LATAM Airlines’ direct service to the island, said that the move will see citizens accessing more substantive jobs.
He said that traditionally, the tourism sector has enjoyed one of the highest rates of labour of any segment of the economy, but many of the opportunities required low- to medium-level skills.
He noted, however, that the increased focus on data-driven policies to better understand the emerging needs of markets, analyse trends and predict future patterns “means that the tourism development strategy must increasingly emphasise research-based skills”.
“The evolving tourism market will require modern managerial skills that can drive performance improvements in the sector by raising productivity through better staff planning and scheduling, employing new technology and improving employee motivation, thereby reducing staff turnover,” he said.
“Most importantly, we must equip our citizens with the competitive business management and marketing skills that are required to operate successful tourism enterprises in this globalised era,” the Minister added.
He noted, further, that the growth of non-traditional markets in Europe, Asia and Central America will require an increased focus on cultural studies and the development of competencies in various foreign languages.
Minister Bartlett argued that the continued competitiveness of the region will significantly rely on how well people are equipped with the right skills for the emerging prospects.