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More than 2,000 hospitality workers trained on Nevis in Ministry of Tourism COVID-19 sensitization sessions

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NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (December 06, 2021) An official of the Ministry of Tourism on Nevis is voicing satisfaction with the response to a series of COVID-19 sensitization training sessions for hospitality industry employees. 

Ms Nicole Liburd, Product Development Officer in the ministry, was charged with organising and executing the sessions. She says the sessions have drawn hundreds of participants from a wide section of the industry. 

“Our estimation is that we would have seen approximately 2,000 or just over 2,000 individuals trained on the island of Nevis. This would include persons working in the water transport sector, the entertainment sector, hotel and accommodation, food and beverage so that’s restaurants/bars. 

“We would have seen also artisans being trained. We would have seen a number of other small sectors like the events providers. We would have seen babysitters and all of those; some who may not be direct as in some of the providers for specialty events like a personal chef and stuff like that so it’s been a real broad-based response to the training,” she said. 

The last sensitization session for 2021 is slated for 8:15 p.m. on December 07, 2021, at the Jessups Community Centre. 

The Ministry of Tourism embarked on the training sessions in mid-summer 2020 to sensitize all tourism employees to the ongoing pandemic, to expose them to what COVID-19 is, the preventive and control measures, the non-pharmaceutical measures, the importance of sanitizing, cleaning and disinfecting of their work areas, and how to operate using new customer service techniques for going forward. 

Monthly training sessions are geared towards persons getting ready to return to work or those who are new to the hospitality sector or anyone who missed earlier sessions. The `Ministry has included in the training in recent times information on the various vaccination options for tourism employees. 

On completion, all who attend the training sessions are certified. Ms Liburd noted that employers have been seeking proof of the training for those who wish to be employed at their establishments. 

“Certification is provided for all employees as well who attend, as many employers within the tourism sector are asking for proof of COVID-19 certification to show that you know the basics, you know the minimum and have been exposed to this training,” she said.

Responding to whether the objective of the training sessions has been met, Ms Liburd expressed the view that the Ministry has been successful in that regard. 

“The objective of the training was to ensure that all tourism workers directly or indirectly employed would be adequately prepared to ensure that they are well trained considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its implication to the tourism industry as we are frontline employees, and to continually give updates and new information as we continue to move forward into the new normal. 

“We feel that the objective for training has been met…Of course, there will always be instances where more training could be needed but it also falls back to the fact that it is a personal responsibility where you’re trained. You’re aware of all the various protocols, the non-pharmaceutical measures and also the vaccine options, so it then becomes a greater personal responsibility but most places are adhering to the protocols. Most employees do adhere to the various protocols that are in place at their workplace and they have been exposed to COVID-19, and they are aware now of the implications of the COVID-19 on our industry and what we must do to safeguard,” she said.

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