THE Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA) yesterday signed an agreement with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to launch training and certification programmes which, according to BHA executive vice-president Frank Comito, is a move towards strengthening the hotel sector labour force.
"We're looking in the coming months to roll out a number of initiatives and we're excited about the partnership," Mr Comito said.
"They've been at this for about 50 years, developing some of the best kind a of training material and programs for the industry.
"We've entered into a partnership agreement that basically says we are going to work very closely together on a range of training and certification programmes.
"They are the largest provider of training in hotel related courses, training, education related materials, not only in the industry but things that go into publications in colleges.
"We have a number of people in industry over the years, and in government as well as in education, who have achieved what they call certified trainer positions by studying and going through AHLEI programmes.
"As a result, we will be able to deliver many of their training programs utilising people from the Bahamas."
The Educational Institute certifies and validates competencies in conjunction with academia and industry experts for more than 35 positions in the hospitality industry.
Mr Comito said: "They have online training programmes that are ideal for family island folks who logistically cant get into programs overseas or in Nassau.
"Their online programmes are also ideal for employees in our industry who need some flexibility."
Mr Comito said those in the hotel industry must work together to prepare young persons and the existing labour force to take advantage of the many job opportunities that arise out of major developments like BahaMar.
He noted that with major development comes major employment opportunities.
"It's a very natural type of movement and what we're trying to do in a variety of ways is to help our people and our industry for the opportunities which these changes present and to ensure that our people are the key strengths," Mr Comito said.