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Tourism Minister to lead discussions on establishment of hospitality and marine academy in Saint Lucia

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Contact: Julita Peter


Wednesday,  October 21, 2009  When the 16th Annual Conference of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association gets under way here next week, Tourism Minister Senator Allen Chastanet is expected to lead discussions on the establishment of a hospitality and marine academy in Saint Lucia.


The Tourism Minister says, the discussions will be held with tourism partners during the investment forum. 


Senator Chastanet says, the lack of trained people in the cruise industry, accounts for the very low percentage of Caribbean nationals employed in the cruise sectors.


With the introduction of thirty-four new cruise lines within the next three to four years, the Senator says it is important that people acquire the requisite skills for  employment within the cruise industry.


“We are proposing the establishment of an academy that will take kids out of high school, put them through an 8-9 month certification programme which will be both academic and practical. Thereafter, we would assist those kids to get recruited by the cruise lines. Once those kids go on the cruise ships for 3 to 4 years—that in and of itself  will be like attending a university.”


Senator Chastanet says, Saint Lucian nationals need to appreciate the global application, benefits, and importance of tourism-related skills.


“The benefit to St. Lucia means that when they are coming back home we have an even a better skilled work force. With the new hotels coming in it is going to be a huge advantage. We are approaching individual companies and also the cruise industry as a group to the possibility of participating in this investment.” 


The Tourism Minister says the Government of Saint Lucia is now in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Monroe College St. Lucia, and MAMPA recruiting Agency, towards the goal of producing properly trained individuals within the cruise sector.

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