Tourism Ministry, USF partner to provide Wi-Fi for online courses

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to facilitate Wi-Fi access in the delivery of the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI) online courses.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, who made the disclosure at the virtual launch of 11 free online courses being offered by the JCTI for hotel industry workers, on April 22, said the USF will be providing these services through its 193 Community Access Points (CAPs).

The online courses being offered by the JCTI are in the areas of laundry attendant, gift room attendant, kitchen stewards/porters, public area sanitation, hospitality team leaders, certified banquet servers, certified restaurant servers, food safety, certified hospitality supervisors, introduction to Spanish, and disc jock (DJ) certification.

All courses will include certification examinations. Successful candidates will receive certificates from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), or the HEART/NSTA Trust. The programmes will be facilitated by HEART/NSTA Trust certified tutors.

The courses, which will last until late July 2020, are being provided free of cost to industry workers who were laid off recently due to the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality sector.

“The USF is a new partner that has come on board to ensure connectivity and access in the various communities across Jamaica. The USF is a critical partner, as we seek to ensure access for those who do not have technology at home,” Bartlett noted. He said the CAPs, which are located across the parishes of Trelawny, St. James, St. Ann and Westmoreland, will provide computer and Wi-Fi facilities to candidates who do not have these services.