ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Hundreds of employees at the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort will benefit from a new initiative of the company to help improve educational levels.
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, MPs John Maginley and Harold Lovell are among regional dignitaries who will attend the launching of the Sandals Corporate University (SCU) in Ocho Rios, Jamaica today.
The Sandals Grande Antigua Resort provides direct employment for close 700 people and another 260 at its sister resort, Grande Pineapple.
The company’s Public Relations Officer Anne Yearwood-George said the new programme is important, “because as a team member, you should always be engaged in activities to advance yourself in order to further your career.”
“What this basically is doing is to introduce life-long learning,” Yearwood-George told OBSERVER Media.
The SCU will certify staff members currently without formal academic qualifications and provide qualified team members with an avenue to advance their education.
According to Sandals, the programmes are being offered through partnerships with internationally-recognised Ryerson University in Canada; Western Hospitality Institute in Jamaica; and the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning, which will provide classes in Mathematics and English for those in pursuit of high-school equivalency.
The programme is being offered to only employees of Sandals. Staff who already have university degrees are told they can still benefit from the training.
Sandals also explained that while SCU core courses are free to team members, the courses offered in conjunction with external institutions may attract a cost.
Therefore, in order to assist qualified team members, the company has established annual scholarship funds valued at US $200,000 along with open scholarship opportunities.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)