BWU retools and retrains tourism sector employees post-COVID
Participants enjoying an interactive presentation by Mrs. Maria Holder-Small, while Dr. Allyson Leacock looks on.
Hotel and tourism employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have been retrained and up-skilled for their prospective return to work.
The Barbados Workers' Union (BWU) and the National Training Initiative (NTI) hosted the first of a series of workshops that will retool and retrain these persons who work in the hospitality sector.
The first workshop in the series, conducted at the BWU’s headquarters at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St Michael, ran from Tuesday, July 7 through to Thursday, July 9, and concluded with the awarding of Certificates of Participation to the attendees.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, principal of the Frank Walcott Labour College, Doreen Deane told the participants that professional development contributed to personal growth.
"Continuous education is paramount to individual growth and to the long-term development of any country, that is why we have initiated this series of training workshops," she remarked during her welcome address.
Deane told the participants that on completion, they would be well equipped with the soft skills and necessary competencies vital to the success of the workplace.
“It is important that our education models value these types of skills and provide new pathways to get people retrained and back into the workforce. Participants in any of these workshops will leave having enhanced their soft skills and being better able to maintain their present jobs or to elevate themselves within or outside of the hotel or tourism sector," she said.
The training programme is expected to continue until September 17 with eight (8) three-day sessions. Participants will have an opportunity to retool in the areas of occupational health and safety protocols, effective communication skills, ethics and service excellence, industrial relations, conflict resolution and problem-solving, wellness, wellbeing, and labour legislation as well as crisis management.
The expert line-up of instructors for the first sessions hail from a cross-section of industries and included Professor Dwayne Devonish, Dr Diane Brathwaite, Ronald Chapman, Maria Holder-Small, Orlando ‘Gabby’ Scott, and BWU Deputy General Secretary Dwaine Paul.
The BWU also expressed an interest in expanding the training programme to a virtual platform, making it readily accessible to a wider audience locally and regionally.