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Feb 6, 2018

BTEC continues Training Housekeepers, Wait Staff

Over forty persons received job preparedness training housekeeping and wait staff. The Belize Training and Employment Center presented certificates to the trainees today after they completed three weeks of intense trainings. For the past three years since it opened its doors, BTEC has trained over a thousand persons in a number of service related areas to help them get ready for employment opportunities and in the first six months to one year, more than half of those persons were employed. Andrea Polanco shares more from today’s certification program.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Forty-six participants received certificates from the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC) after they completed a Wait staff and Housekeeping three-week training course. BTEC says that these participants have a competitive edge when looking for jobs in an industry with growing demands for service workers.

 

Christine Smith

Christine Smith, Manager, BTEC

“The training covered soft skills, which looks at addressing the attitudes and behaviors going into the work environment. So, we covered time management, professionalism, work ethics, communication skills and it also covered customer service skills.  It doesn’t matter where you are working; a strong customer service background is important and vital to success, not only for yourself but also for the business you are working with. The last week of the training covered their technical skills.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Would you say this gives them a good start if they want to get into this kind of work?”

 

Christine Smith

“Our trainings are very interactive and the technical component covers the areas they will meet. For instance, those who did the wait staff did a session on wines; wine appreciation; what goes good with a meal; opening a wine; how to pour; how to set a table. For the housekeeping, it covered all the areas of cleaning but also the products that will give you the best bang for buck.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Have you seen a demand in the tourism industry for these kinds of skilled workers?”

 

Christine Smith

“Yes. As you know the tourism, industry is ever growing. And what they are looking for are persons who understand what the industry is about and can come in to their establishment and be a little more prepared. Because while establishments are prepared to spend to train their employees, they want them to be more than just green. So, these trainings give persons a step up.”

 

Majority of the participants didn’t have experience or formal training before they started the course. But even for those with experience, the training proved to be a useful refresher.

 

Jasmine Maskall

Jasmine Maskall, Wait Staff Trainee

“We learnt how to balance wine on the trays. We learnt how to communicate better with our customers, our employees, being a team player and just have a good work environment.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Why did you decide to do this training with BTEC?”

 

Jasmine Maskall

“Well, I like to do new things and try new things.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you have any plans to go and work in this field?”

 

Jasmine Maskall

“Yes. It seems really fun, so I would go in this field.”

 

Sharlene Vasquez

Sharlene Vasquez, Housekeeping Trainee

“We learn how to, I would say, clean professionally. We did windows, floors. We learnt how to do everything that is about cleaning. It was quite an experience.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Is this an area that you’ve had experience in before?”

 

Sharlene Vasquez

“Yes. A little but coming here at the training, it gives you a little more experience of learning and dealing with different places, different people, get to meet new people, learn new things. It was nice.”

 

BTEC says over one thousand two hundred participants have been trained over three years and over seventy-five percent of them go on to find jobs.

 

Christine Smith

“We track our participants for six months to a year. We know that we have trained over the three years we have been in existence over 1200 persons and we know out of that we have an employment rate of seventy-six to seventy eight percent. So, we do know that persons who take our training go on to work and we know based on the interaction with employers how well they do in the work environment.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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