Youth benefit from Sandals Hospitality Training Programme

Fernella Francis is training in the Sales department

One of the biggest challenges facing young job-seekers is the job experience paradox – to get a job you need experience, but to get experience you first need a job.  For many youngsters seeking entry level jobs it can be very difficult to get that first foot in the door.

The Sandals Hospitality Training Programme (HTP) was specifically designed to tackle this issue by assisting youth ages 18 to 30 with gaining a skill in the tourism industry – the biggest job creator in the country.

For 24-year-old Keimiah Greene, who had mostly been doing odd jobs and manual labour before, the HTP was an opportunity to get on a serious career path.

“I was scrolling through Facebook and saw the Sandals hospitality training ad, so I sent in my resume and got back an answer,” he said.

Greene, who is father to a one-year-old, is now training in the Kitchen department at Sandals Grande Antigua, much to the delight of his family and community members who are happy to see him taking steps towards securing a better future.

“My girlfriend was going to the Hospitality Training (Institute) and she wanted to be a chef. One day she asked me what I would think if the both of us did this. So, I am fulfilling me and my girlfriend’s dream,” he added.

He continued, “I never planned for this, but . . . I want to become a better man for my son. I want to lead him in the right path. That’s why I’ll continue doing what I am doing.”

Keimiah Greene is training in the Kitchen

For 22-year-old Fernella Francis, the HTP also represents limitless possibilities. Francis graduated from University of the West Indies Cave Hill with a major in psychology with management and joined the programme because she believes the skills learnt will be transferable to anything she undertakes in the future.

“Hospitality is everywhere so even if I open a business of my own I would have to be hospitable to my customers”, she said.

Since participating in the programme Francis has come to appreciate how much attention goes into making the guest experience a great one. While many believe the career opportunities in tourism are limited to cooks, housekeepers and bell boys, Francis’ training demonstrates that a wide variety of opportunities exist.

“I would love to continue working in the Sales department because it (touches on) event planning and management which is something I am interested in. If I were to choose somewhere else it would be Human Resources,” she said.

Over the last six weeks, 19 young people have been training at Sandals Grande Antigua in various departments, and will graduate in September. After the training, depending on their individual performances and existing vacancies at Sandals, outstanding trainees may receive job offers. In the past year, over 50 percent of trainees have been called back.

Those who may not receive job offers from Sandals often receive employment in the industry elsewhere, having received valuable training and certification through the HTP.

To participate in the 10-week programme, applicants are only required to be of good character, have an interest in tourism and an appropriate attitude and personality for the service industry. Thus far for 2017, 43 other trainees have graduated from the programme.

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  1. Best wishes with the program Mr.Greene
    You have the right mindset
    I’m sure you will reach places if you keep it up

  2. I sincerely think this is a very vital program….more hotels NEED to follow this concept……training needs to be at least six mnths …thank you Sandals Grande

  3. I want to be apart of the trainee session for a chef career,what are the step’s to get into it?

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