14 People Complete “Learn To Earn” Programme

August 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] recognised the first cohort of the Learn to Earn programme, a service industry training initiative.

“The programme emerged as a partnership between the Tourism Standard and Training Division of the BTA, the Government Department of Workforce Development, the Bermuda College, and a group of private restaurant and hospitality stakeholders,” a spokesperson said.

“The programme was initiated in January 2020 but was disrupted in March 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 on the country. However, by March 2021 after numerous programme suspensions, the BTA facilitated training and certification of fourteen participants.

“The programme emerged in response to a PwC study commissioned by the BTA in 2018 to analyse the hospitality workforce in Bermuda. The report quantified the predicted gap in the supply of Bermudian workers for the hospitality industry and identified challenges and opportunities.

“According to the report, there would be a shortfall of 10% of the current need for hospitality workers due to inexperience, lack of qualifications combined with an ageing workforce. BTA shared the data with the Bermuda Government and other industry stakeholders. All parties recognised a disconnect between adequately trained Bermudians with the experience ready for hire and the needs of the existing workforce talent pool.

“Participants received training and certifications from the Bermuda College, the American Hotel and Lodging Institute, The Federation of Dining Professionals, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, The BTA Certified Tourism Ambassador programme and other entities.

“The trainees were invited to participate in an eight-week paid rotation across several different restaurant groups, including Harbourside Holdings, Yellowfin Group, Island Restaurant Group, and Take Five as well as Harry’s and Huckleberry Restaurants. In addition to the certifications, participants had the opportunity to transition into the workforce. Out of the fourteen, eight are either employed full-time or part-time within the hospitality industry. Support is provided for all participants when job opportunities become available.”

Tracy Berkeley, Chief Administration Officer of BTA said, “Bermuda’s tourism visitor satisfaction metrics depend in large part on the customer service delivered across the hospitality industry. Ensuring that we can deliver service standards at the highest level as an island is a critical objective for us.

“That’s why we engaged PwC to get a quantifiable understanding of our industry needs and from that, we connected with our restaurant partners, the Tomasz Tabor Memorial Fund, the Department of Workforce Development and the Bermuda College, to create a pathway for a learning and development opportunity to grow engaged, credentialed hospitality talent.

“I am proud of the BTA’s Tourism Standards and Training team who worked together with our stakeholders to implement a solid, replicable programme for Bermuda’s aspiring hospitality professionals.”

Minister Jason Hayward, who is responsible for the Ministry of Labour and the Department of Workforce Development said, “Building a workforce that is equipped and empowered to sustain both the livelihoods of Bermudians and drive our national economy is vital, even more so in the context of the pandemic and beyond to create career pathways in the hospitality industry.

“I salute the fourteen participants who sought to elevate their credentials and widen their opportunities for employment by participating and successfully completing the programme and obtain various certifications in the hospitality industry.

“We are delighted to have forged this stakeholder partnership and networking opportunity and acknowledge the important work placement contributions from the participating industry restaurant groups with whom the success of this programme was made possible, and for this I am grateful.”

The reception was hosted by the Bermuda Tourism Authority – Tracy Berkeley Chief Administration Officer and Eron Woods Tourism Standards & Training Coordinator. Restaurant industry stakeholder partners Karl Massam of Yellowfin Group and Tomasz Tabor Memorial Fund, Meisha Medford of Take Five Limited and Chris Garland [Harbour side Holdings] also participated in the reception, and Minister Jason Hayward addressed the successful participants and stakeholders.

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