Venezuelan nationals, hoping to get jobs at hotels and restaurants across the country, will be offered training at the T&T Hospitality & Tourism Institute, better known as the hotel school.
Chief executive officer of the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurant and Tourism Association Brian Frontin said, “We already have had discussions with our international partners on the training products in Spanish, so we know what products we looking at targeting. One of them will be guest service, and of course, we have specialist training in housekeeping, any of those culinary and restaurant service type service standards. So we have the products, we already exploring them in Spanish,
He added: “The next question is there enough interest by the hotels and restaurants to do that direct hiring at this time.”
In a telephone interview, Frontin said some of his members had been asking about the possibility of hiring Venezuelan nationals in light of the recent registration process, which has allowed the migrants to obtain permits to work for one year in this country.
He said, “There has been an expression of interest yes. So that’s why we felt an impetus to move forward the initial reaction were as long as they are properly registered, and as long as we can set a baseline standard for hospitality service, we would consider actively training and then creating a database is the goal.”
Frontin said in some cases, Venezuelan nationals who had been working in T&T for several years, had been pointing out individuals in the migrant community who may be suited to the industry. But, he stressed it is important that those brought into work are properly trained to work.
“Those who actively interested I think the hotels and restaurants would want to have some comfort level that the person they have taken aboard has received a minimum standard of training,” he said.
Frontin also explained that the THRTA was also doing a survey to assess where the migrants would be most needed.
He said, “The question would be how many properties are interested. What are the numbers, what are the vacancies available etc and of course balancing that with the demand for our local citizens for the same job. That’s another factor that we would be bringing into the conversation.”
Frontin added: “If willing, what would be the sort of roles and positions that would be filled. Because everyone would have an acute sense of which roles are difficult to fill.”
The survey had begun prior to completion of the migrant registration process, which was due to finish last Friday, buy officially ended earlier this week.
“Once we get that sense of it, we can have a more data-based approach to what type of training we should be offering and who are the persons likely to be filled in those roles going forward. It doesn’t make sense saying we need 100 bartenders trained and we have a bartending community in Trinidad already. You end up with a sort of oversupply,” said Frontin.
- by Peter Christopher