In its continuing efforts to produce an effective workforce capable of meeting the challenges that exist in today’s tourism work place The Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour, in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (SLCTVET or TVET for short) recently established The Hospitality Industry Advisory Committee (HIAC).
In a boldly pro-active move the Ministry reached out to the St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association for assistance in remedying the challenge of students from local learning institutions being ill equipped for today’s world of work.
The creation of The Hospitality Industry Advisory Committee is the result of this collaboration. “The main purpose of the committee is to address skills development issues, with specific emphasis on quality, while ensuring that supply of skills matches demand” explained Ms Esther Braithwaite, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, in her letter of invitation to committee members.
In November 2015 Dr. Hasssan Ndahi, Senior Program Specialist at the International Labor Organization (ILO) addressed committee members in a half day workshop outlining both the challenges and the mission at hand.
At its first meeting of 2016 members of The Hospitality Industry Advisory Committee, by unanimous decision selected the following persons to serve in an executive capacity:
• Joe Dubois (Group Human Resource and Training Manager – Bay Gardens Resorts) – Chairman
• Carl Hunter (Property Manager – Anse Chastanet/Jade Mountain) – Vice Chairman
• Samantha Charles (Tourism Officer – Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries) – Secretary
• Kirk Elliott (Kirk Elliott Photography) – Public Awareness Officer
“I am both humbled and honoured at your confidence in me as the person to steer the charting of this new way forward in tourism employment that will empower a sector of our society that has been marginalized for too long.” Stated Du Bois in accepting the position as chairman.
True to his acceptance speech, immediately after the meeting Du Bois together with a contingent of his committee members headed to Pigeon Island to observe the assessment phase of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) for Mariners – sections 1-3.
The assessment was conducted by Acting Inspector Nadine George and Acting Seargent Wilbur Etienne of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force Marine Unit in conjunction with Mr. Vaughn Serieux, Fisheries Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries and Rural Development.
The excitement and sense of appreciation on the faces of the young students upon learning of Du Bois’ interest in their certification was clearly evident and a sign that Du Bois’ Human Resource Management expertise will serve the new Hospitality Industry Advisory Committee, and by extension St Lucia very well.