1000 high school and tertiary students are set to benefit from this year’s Spruce Up Jamaica Tourism Summer Internship Programme (TSIP). The six week work experience Programme which has been implemented by the Tourism Product Development Company limited for the past 12 years, received twenty-five million dollars in funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). This year, close to 200 partners committed to host over 1300 students in various tourism and its sub sector organizations.
With its objective of exposing young academics to the vision of tourism and the role it plays in our society, the participants who range between the ages 16 and 25, prior to the start of each three week tranche, attend a one day mandatory orientation. The session explores various topics including workplace ethics, tourism, cultural awareness and customer service.
In what is described as an industry that is heavily dependent on its human resource, Minister of Tourism, Honourable Edmund Bartlett at the TSIP Rally, lauded the programme and implored the students, some of whom are still making career decisions, to use the knowledge they will garner to their advantage to directly or indirectly contribute to the growing and expanding sector.
“This intern arrangement will help to facilitate you while you study; we are helping one more child to continue their education, one more family to see their way. We are giving them hope for a secure future, and that’s what tourism does. Tourism is about enabling the wellbeing of people.”
He went on to highlight the many programmes that the industry has implemented to provide opportunities for growth through the strengthening of its human capital component.
“The essence of tourism is our people, the iconic attraction that Jamaica has is its people, so if we build and strengthen our people and give capacity, then we will be able to transform the labour market arrangements in the industry. Through our programmes such as the Team Jamaica training and the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation, our people will gain the chance to realize their potential. By also integrating the programmes in high schools and colleges, students will be able to broaden their horizons. It is very important for you the young people to understand from a very early stage and have options for professional engagement within the industry.” He said.