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Feb 1, 2017

BTEC Unveils Latest Graduates

A job preparedness training certificate ceremony was held today at the Belize Training and Employment Center on the ITVET Compound. A team of six persons manage a network of partnerships with several training institutions and have providing training in areas of home health care, business processing outsourcing among others. Today, sixty-six persons graduated from its most recent trainings in three specific areas of the tourism industry. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

There is a current demand for certified persons in various areas of hospitality in the growing tourism industry; front desk, bartending and housekeeping are among the top requests. Since its inception back in 2014, the Belize Training and Employment Center, an arm of BELTRAIDE, has been bridging the divide, connecting the human resources—fully trained and ready to enter the workforce—with the employer. Today, the biggest cohort of participants graduated from three training programs; it concluded with certification ceremony.

 

Lejia Melanie Gideon

Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, BTEC

“We developed our janitorial and housekeeping last quarter; this is the second time we are doing it this first quarter for this year. The first training we ever did was a direct response for the service industry, which is our front desk service and then the bartending again, it is being responsive to what are the needs there. And for that way, we have shown a seventy-five to eighty percent retained employment rate because we are responsive to the vacancies, to the needs of the potential employers.”

 

The participants are now fully trained in housekeeping and janitorial skills, as well as bartending including introduction and advance and the five-star front desk training. Renesha Williams, like many others, had a knack for bartending and hopes that she’ll be able to transition into the workforce.

 

Renesha Williams

Renesha Williams, Trainee, Advanced Bartending Course

“The introduction as only three days and the advance was four days. There were a lot of things that I learned from the advance; things I didn’t know and I know it will help me great in the bartending field.”

 

Duane Moody

“So you are looking for a job as a bartender?”

 

Renesha Williams

“Yes I am.”

 

Duane Moody

“And how does this help you with reaching that goal?”

 

Renesha Williams

“Well the certificate…people are looking for people with experience. And he taught us a lot, practical; we did hands on training so it would be easier for me to transition into being a bartender.”

 

The soft and hard skills of the front desk profession are what drew Justin Guzman to the program.

 

Justin Guzman

Justin Guzman, Trainee, 5-Star Front Desk Course

“Learning how to answer a phone, basic etiquette; keep a smile from ten feet away…basically just greeting people.”

 

Reporter

“And this is a field that you are passionate about?”

 

Justin Guzman

“I’ve done it before but I hadn’t been certified in it, but I am now. Thanks to BTEC.”

 

Reporter

“Right. How long have you been working at the front desk and where were you working before the training?”

 

Justin Guzman

“I was at Blancaneaux Lodge, Mountain Pine Ridge before. I wasn’t stationed as front desk; I was pretty much all over the place, but now I guess I will be stationed in one place.”

 

Housekeeping is considered a menial profession and is normally frowned upon by many. Shaleni Young decided to take on the training course to boost her resume as she continues her studies at the ITVET in hospitality.

 

Shaleni Young

Shaleni Young, Trainee, Housekeeping Course

“Getting into the program, it was really challenging for me because me and cleaning don’t really go together. But what I’ve learned is that basic stuff around the house helps with cleaning. They taught you stuff that you didn’t know about and yeah, it helps a lot. I’m also doing tourism front desk at the ITVET and doing this housekeeping is just an additional knowledge or set of skills that I’ll be needing in the tourism industry because in the industry, you have to learn a little bit of everything.”

 

But how successful has BTEC been? Well, coupled with the Small Business Development Center, General Manager Lejia Melanie Gideon says that the statistics show that to date, just under nine hundred trained persons have been employed with an eighty percent retention employment rate.

 

Lejia Melanie Gideon

“There is another function of BELTRAIDE, the Small Business Development Center which focuses on small business enterprises and in this case, microenterprises. A housekeeper technically can be their own microenterprise. So it is teaching them how to do be your own boss. And with the skill sets you get from either SBDC or from the BTEC training as well is how you can be your boss and then hire somebody else because the success rate of BELTRAIDE is how much jobs we create. Everything we do is for the creation of jobs and if it is not the creation of jobs, how do we get you into the jobs that are available.”

 

Interestingly, the demand is so high that interviews have already been set for many of the participants. Duane Moody for News Five.

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