Sandals St. Lucian Resorts has graduated 56 young men and women in yet another successful Hospitality Training Programme (HTP), following 10 weeks of intense training in several areas across the hospitality sector. The graduates are all now armed with the discipline, organizational independence and knowhow in hospitality – all key to their own development and that of the local industry.
According to Melissa Clarke, Training & Development Manager at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, this group of youngsters was indeed an exceptional one.
“As Training & Development Managers were are simply honored to be granted the opportunity of working with these youngsters to mold them into future hoteliers,” Clarke said.
She pointed out that Caribbean nationals are without a doubt an extremely talented group of people and the Hospitality Training Programme looks simply at creating the perfect opportunity for the release of this innate ability within the youth.
“Their humility, passion and dedication coupled with their natural talent were the contributing factors for their success. With determination and continued training and development they will undoubtedly excel,” Clarke said.
The graduates were scattered throughout various departments across Sandals’ three resorts in the island – Halcyon Beach, Regency La Toc Golf Resort and Spa, and the Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort. Among them were six outstanding graduates in two categories – Most out Standing HTP and Hospitality Personality.
In the first category Ms. Kendra Declary of the Sandals Halcyon Beach secured this honour. She was accompanied by Herve Volney and Kersharma Joseph from La Toc and the Grande respectively.
In the area of Most Outstanding Hospitality Personality, Sharma Joseph from Sandals Grande led the way. Julia Charles from Sandals Halcyon and Karenza St. Hilarie from Sandals La Toc were also recognized.
The certification exercise comes as a means to recognize and reward the dedication of the young team members. And it also looks to congratulate them for a phenomenal job in completing what can easily be considered a significant milestone in their personal and professional development.
“It is indeed a proud moment for our graduates as well as the Training and Development Managers and all other Managers who contributed to their learning experience during their tenure with us,” said Clarke.
Organizers of the event used the opportunity to show-case one of its brightest of stars–Ms. Shereka Ellison–who graduated from the program some years ago and has since managed to steadily climb her way up ladder in the Sandals family. Today she stands in a position of management and is focused on continued advancement within the regional group.
“Today marks an indelible point in your life. Be proud of your accomplishments,” Ellison advised the young group.
Also on hand to congrat-ulate and encourage the graduates were Mrs. Tracy Warner-Arnold, Head of Marketing at the St. Lucia Tourist Board. She told the young industry professionals that Tourism was indeed big business in St. Lucia. She commended their commitment to the chosen field by getting certified and encouraged that they continue along the path of education going forward.
“You are a vital piece of the puzzle,” she said, pointing to the overall $630 million industry of combined products and services.
Graduates Sharma Joseph spoke of the program from her perspective, while Kerenza St. Hilaire and Kendra Declary delivered the testimonial and vote of thanks respectively.