HOSPITALITY STUDENTS PREPARING FOR TOURISM INDUSTRY
A high percentage of hospitality students at the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School have a good chance of employment in Anguilla’s up-market tourism industry. Like other students at the Anguilla Community College, they are being trained to provide a high level of service in various positions at the island’s classy hotels.
The students, who are members of the school’s “We Love Hospitality Club”, are now preparing for three examinations in June which are intended to further qualify them for employment in the industry. In the meantime, they attended a tourism seminar at the Anguilla Community College where, among other matters, they were addressed by leading tourism personalities on the island.
Founder of the Club, Mrs. Kendisha Hall-Prentice, spoke to The Anguillian newspaper about the seminar which was held on Thursday, April 11, with the assistance of Mr. Karl Woodley, Head of the school’s Hospitality Department. She stated that the presenters were: Mrs. Shellya Rogers-Webster, Mrs. Janine Edwards, Mr. Jameel Rochester, Ms. Dorla Hodge, Ms. Tiffany Rogers, Ms. Samelia Connor and Mrs. Karimah Carty.
Mrs. Hall-Prentice continued: “The presenters spoke on the Role of the Anguilla Tourist Board; Villa Management; Rooms Division and Food & Beverage; Destination Management; Spa Services; and Certification & Degrees.
“The event was to heighten the students’ understanding of the hospitality industry in Anguilla. That is why we decided to have those persons who are so directly involved in the industry to speak to the students. The presenters were able to draw from their own experience because many of them were students at the school and some of them were taught by Mr. Woodley.”
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Mrs. Hall-Prentice, who teaches Hotel Management, Hospitality and Culinary, described “We Love Hospitality Club” as a fully-functioning club at the school and in the community. She added: “One of our coming biggest trips will be to St. Kitts and Nevis. The trip is to compare their tourism product to ours seeing that St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla were one. Now that they have separated we want to see the different tourism dynamics of the islands.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Woodley, who, in addition to heading the school’s Hospitality Department, works closely with the club, commented: “The seminar is a very good opportunity for the students. They have been given an opportunity to gain as much knowledge as possible on all aspects of the hospitality industry in Anguilla. We have students from forms three to six which are covered by our programme, but we also have one student here from form two. I wish all the students and the club, itself, the very best. We had another club – “Tourism is We Thing” – but this one, “We Love Hospitality Club”, is fully functional as my colleague said. We assume that its members will one day be employees in the industry.”
Asked how the students were being prepared for the hospitality industry, Mr. Woodley explained: “In fifth form, we have a job training programme for students and many of them take up that opportunity. One of the speakers, from Four Seasons [Ms. Dorla Hodge], said at the seminar that, in terms of employment, there is a high job ratio for students doing the job training programme that starts in June and continues for six weeks.”
He added: “We have three programmes at the school: Hotel Management for which the examination is on June 13; Hospitality for which the examination is on June 14; and the local programme, also in June, when we give students basic information on all aspects of hospitality.”