Hotel school offers training for migrants

Venezue­lan na­tion­als, hop­ing to get jobs at ho­tels and restau­rants across the coun­try, will be of­fered train­ing at the T&T Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & Tourism In­sti­tute, bet­ter known as the ho­tel school.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Trinidad Ho­tels, Restau­rant and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion Bri­an Fron­tin said, “We al­ready have had dis­cus­sions with our in­ter­na­tion­al part­ners on the train­ing prod­ucts in Span­ish, so we know what prod­ucts we look­ing at tar­get­ing. One of them will be guest ser­vice, and of course, we have spe­cial­ist train­ing in house­keep­ing, any of those culi­nary and restau­rant ser­vice type ser­vice stan­dards. So we have the prod­ucts, we al­ready ex­plor­ing them in Span­ish,

He added: “The next ques­tion is there enough in­ter­est by the ho­tels and restau­rants to do that di­rect hir­ing at this time.”

In a tele­phone in­ter­view, Fron­tin said some of his mem­bers had been ask­ing about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of hir­ing Venezue­lan na­tion­als in light of the re­cent reg­is­tra­tion process, which has al­lowed the mi­grants to ob­tain per­mits to work for one year in this coun­try.

He said, “There has been an ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est yes. So that’s why we felt an im­pe­tus to move for­ward the ini­tial re­ac­tion were as long as they are prop­er­ly reg­is­tered, and as long as we can set a base­line stan­dard for hos­pi­tal­i­ty ser­vice, we would con­sid­er ac­tive­ly train­ing and then cre­at­ing a data­base is the goal.”

Fron­tin said in some cas­es, Venezue­lan na­tion­als who had been work­ing in T&T for sev­er­al years, had been point­ing out in­di­vid­u­als in the mi­grant com­mu­ni­ty who may be suit­ed to the in­dus­try. But, he stressed it is im­por­tant that those brought in­to work are prop­er­ly trained to work.

“Those who ac­tive­ly in­ter­est­ed I think the ho­tels and restau­rants would want to have some com­fort lev­el that the per­son they have tak­en aboard has re­ceived a min­i­mum stan­dard of train­ing,” he said.

Fron­tin al­so ex­plained that the THRTA was al­so do­ing a sur­vey to as­sess where the mi­grants would be most need­ed.

He said, “The ques­tion would be how many prop­er­ties are in­ter­est­ed. What are the num­bers, what are the va­can­cies avail­able etc and of course bal­anc­ing that with the de­mand for our lo­cal cit­i­zens for the same job. That’s an­oth­er fac­tor that we would be bring­ing in­to the con­ver­sa­tion.”

Fron­tin added: “If will­ing, what would be the sort of roles and po­si­tions that would be filled. Be­cause every­one would have an acute sense of which roles are dif­fi­cult to fill.”

The sur­vey had be­gun pri­or to com­ple­tion of the mi­grant reg­is­tra­tion process, which was due to fin­ish last Fri­day, buy of­fi­cial­ly end­ed ear­li­er this week.

“Once we get that sense of it, we can have a more da­ta-based ap­proach to what type of train­ing we should be of­fer­ing and who are the per­sons like­ly to be filled in those roles go­ing for­ward. It doesn’t make sense say­ing we need 100 bar­tenders trained and we have a bar­tend­ing com­mu­ni­ty in Trinidad al­ready. You end up with a sort of over­sup­ply,” said Fron­tin.

- by Peter Christopher

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