New hospitality apprentices

The Tourism Apprenticeship Training Programme kicked off its 2008 fall term last week when 34 new apprentices were formally welcomed by the Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford, during an orientation session.

During the orientation at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort on 2 September, the apprentices were given more insight into the programme by Department of Tourism’s Sharon Banfield-Bovell and a TATP Council representative, Juliet Du Feu, said a press release.

The apprentices also received overviews of the CARIBCERT programme by CITA’s Kim Pisano, as well as course introductions by University College of the Cayman Islands’ instructors Deborah Chambers and Pedro Acosta.

Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa employees – Daniel Bedder, Director of Rooms; Carl Goldner, Executive Chef; and Neil Gattermann, Food and Beverage Manager – each spoke to the apprentices about the three core areas of study offered through the programme.

Using lunch as an opportunity to mingle, the new apprentices found themselves in conversations with various tourism industry partners, past apprentices and TATP council members.

‘This is a big step for many of the apprentices,’ commented the Minister. ‘The Tourism Apprenticeship Training Programme will provide all successful students with an internationally-recognized CARIBCERT qualification as well as a certificate in Hospitality Studies. Both of these provide a solid foundation for the apprentices, whether they decide to jump right into the workforce or further their education locally or abroad.’

The programme is built on a partnership between the Ministry and Department of Tourism, the University College of the Cayman Islands, International College of the Cayman Islands and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association. This year, three areas of study are being offered: Food and Beverage Operations, Food Preparation Operations and Front Office Operations.

Fourteen participants enrolled in Front Office Operations; nine in Food and Beverage Operations and the remaining 11 in Food Preparation Operations.

The programme is designed to create a cadre of Caymanian hospitality professionals in occupations traditionally under-represented by Caymanians but with respectable compensation levels and career potential.

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