Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — The Federation’s goal of providing high-end tourism is being realized with the implementation of an OECS Network of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Training and Education (NETHTE) at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) which will offer training in high-end hospitality services.
Lecturer at the college Dr. Leighton Naraine stated that CFBC is playing a critical role in moving the European Union Funded Project forward. He explained that one of the benefits of establishing the network would be that students who enter the NETHTE will be able to access training from anywhere there is specialization in that field. “This means more mobility for the students.” Another feature is that they will have access to other similar NETHTES outside the OECS main network.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Ionie Liburd Willett stated that the proposed mandate for the CFBC is that it will specialise in high-end hospitality services to meet the growing needs of high-end tourists, hotels, resorts and heritage tourist sites.
“This mandate, I am confident, will be carried out with distinction as we have recently improved our overall ranking in overall visits, meeting expectations, taxi transportation, historical sites and museums and tour satisfaction categories,” Mrs. Willett stated.
She further stated that CFBC is an ideal place for the growth of hospitality training in the Federation. The Permanent Secretary added that the Government is also assisting with the empowerment of students through training and scholarships using the vehicles of the People Employment Programme (PEP), Recognising Everyone’s Ability to Climb Higher (REACH) and the Education Foundation.
“The sound quality, training and financial assistance will go a long way in positioning our students to respond to our national need and gain a competitive advantage as the region moves strategically to participating in a knowledge based economy,” Mrs. Willett noted. “At the Ministry of Education we recognise that simply having training and skills will not be enough.We has to move our students on to recognise that they are knowledge creators with the potential to be innovative, competitive and productive. Thus the OECS Network of Excellence is an investment in which the generation and exploitation of knowledge of our young people will play a great part in the creation of wealth for the region.”
President of the CFBC Kelvin Daly stated that the group of consultants contracted by the OECS Secretariat to visit the Federation on November 13-17, 2014, falls in line with the programmes that have been launched and are in the process of being launched at the college. During their visit they engaged all stakeholders of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the country’s mission to provide high-end services. This involved one-on-one consultations, site visits to the CFBC, and Focus Group sessions/workshop with stakeholders.
“It speaks to empowering a fraction of our communities that have been left out of prior discussions,” Dr. Daly explained. “We had discussions regarding CFBC’s role in empowering persons, especially women, in hospitality and culinary arts and the programmes that we have and offer. [The consultants] were quite impressed by the fact that we had started this discussion long before and are in a position to get more of our people who do not qualify under normal circumstances to enter CFBC, to create programmes where you bring your experiences as part of your admissions.”
An allocation of $6 million Euros has been made under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme for the OECS, of which St. Kitts-Nevis is a counterpart.