By CELESTE NIXON
Tribune Staff Reporter
IN ANTICIPATION of the several thousand new jobs to be created by the Baha Mar project, the College of the Bahamas is launching its first tourism skills training course.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Bahamas Hotel Association president Stuart Bowe said the short-term certificate programme is designed to prepare individuals for the more than 5,400 new job opportunities expected to be created not only by the resort itself, but also in a number of spin-off industries.
He said: “Knowing the opportunities available in the next two years as the hotels, casinos and convention facilities near completion at the BahaMar project, we believe that individuals who prepare themselves for the job opportunities by successfully completing the courses and possess the right attitude will do well.
“Individuals who successfully complete the courses will be more competitive for tourism jobs. The future is bright for those who are prepared and we are pleased to be joining with the college to present these opportunities.”
COB president Dr Betsy Boze said the courses have been designed in conjunction with tourism partners to ensure their relevance to industry needs, in particular for entry-level positions.
“It is our hope that the courses will be well-subscribed and we expect that individuals who successfully complete them will be well positioned to enter into this exciting and rapidly-growing industry that is so essential to the Bahamas,” she said.
The first two courses in the series, which are expected to begin on October 29, will focus on food and beverage, including a course on basic culinary and a second course on banqueting, said Dr Boze.
According to Dr Boze each course includes 60 hours of training and an additional 25 to 30 hours on customer service, ethics, workplace etiquette, and food safety. Following which students also will be provided with a four-week internship in the industry.
Additionally, several other courses will be added to the programme early next year and 2014.
The programme is $500 per course and is facilitated through the College’s Continuing Education and Extension services Programme (CEES) in cooperation with BHA.
There is a $40 application fee and forms are available at the CEES or online at www.cob.edu.bs. The application deadline for the first two courses is October 22.
Requirements for the programme include: basic reading and writing skills and some of the positions will require an interview.