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From as early as next month, Tobagonians should see a number of training programmes being offered by the Tobago House of Assembly to address long-standing customer service training and the continuous negative reports coming out of the office of the Auditor-General. Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis made the announcement at yesterday’s Post Executive Council Media Briefing where he said internationally recognised “Uplifting Service” was recruited to administer customer service training to all Tobagonians. He said the programme has already been initiated.

“We started with the training at the leadership level at various sectors including the tourism sector the business sector and even those in the health sector was a part of this initiative and sometime around the end of September we expect to move this out to the general population.”

According to Global Gurus.org, the leader of “Uplifting Service,” Ron Kaufman ranked number one in terms of customer service training. Kaufman has an impressive list of clients including Singapore Airlines, HP, Hilton and Marriot Hotels. He is also a columnist in Bloomberg Businessweek and was featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Dennis said that the programme is intended to reach all adults on the island in both the private and public sectors and that phase of the programme is expected to begin in late September.

“All sectors are expected to be involved and all workers within the tourism sector across the island are expected to be involved as well so the intention is for us to treat with our customer service issues, we want to change our customer service culture of this island over the next three years and that will add significant value to Tobago as a tourism destination.”

This customer training programme is expected to run for a period of three years, however, Dennis said he did not have the cost of the programme at hand, but he did say he would ask the Tobago Tourism Agency to release all the information on the programme.

The Chief Secretary also addressed the THA’s Public Service Training Academy, also known as the Public Service Training Centre will also be launched in September. He said the centre will be “responsible for training, all public servants across the Assembly and that is expected to improve our public services in a number of areas from customer service to the general efficiency of our public officers.”

The proposal to establish the Public Service Academy and a Tobago Productivity Council was approved in the Tobago House of Assembly in 2019.

However, the move was intensified after the THA received another negative Auditor General Review earlier this year.

According to Dennis once trained public officers are “expected to perform more efficiently in accounting departments and this will have some impact on some of the negatives coming out of the Auditor General’s report.”