Students from almost 10 schools in Providenciales were given an opportunity to rediscover the Turks and Caicos Islands through the eyes of a tourist as the Turks and Caicos Community College and Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) resort partnered to observe World Tourism Day 2022 at the institution’s campus.
Even as the students were given a front-row seat to the variety of offerings that the leading all-inclusive family resort had to offer the thousands of visitors to its shores annually they also explored the numerous employment opportunities available in the tourism industry.
The career day-styled tourism showcase event saw members from the BTC’s watersports, food and beverage, entertainment, Red Lane Spa®, human resources, and the learning and development departments highlighting the multitude of offerings for guests at the resort while shining an important light on the opportunities and the viability of building a career with the resort.
In sharing the variety of the career offerings at the resort, general manager James McAnally shared, “Beaches Turks and Caicos welcomes thousands of visitors each year and our team is dedicated to providing them with a memorable visit based on the numerous offerings from watersports to the multitude of dining options. On the other side, our resort also provides a complete career package for individuals in different areas on their professional journey. We also continuously provide training for every team member in order to allow them to achieve their ultimate career goals, particularly but not limited to being industry leaders. Partnerships like this with the Community College are a part of our tourism in schools initiative across our brands.”
The leader of the almost 2,000 Beaches Turks & Caicos team members on the island of Providenciales lauded his team for the tremendous leadership values in helping to train the students who are welcomed each year as part of the resort’s summer internship programme. “We continue to welcome almost 200 students annually as part of our internship programme; many of whom have found fulfilling employment with us. Our training programmes are geared towards lifting those we employ to a world class standard that enables them develop to their fullest potential within the industry,” McAnally added.
Chair of the faculty of Hospitality and Tourism department at the Community College, Michelle Hosten shared that, “Tourism for the TCI is arguably the main source of income for the residents of this archipelago. The objective for this event is primarily to bring awareness to the minds of our young people. The programme offerings that we have here at TCICC are geared towards providing tertiary training with a practical perspective whereby our students are given the real-world experience of the industry.”
“Each year, we continue to receive tremendous support from Beaches Turks and Caicos to provide an avenue for our students to be trained in the industry through the internship programme. Within our associate’s degree programme, we provide hospitality management, tourism management and culinary arts. BTC has allowed our students from all these areas receive hands-on training extensively, to receive a practical component to their theoretical knowledge,” Hosten shared.
Fifth form student from the Clement Howell High school Gerdly Lundy when asked about her experience at the event shared, “My classmates and I have learnt that we can’t expect to reach the head of the industry without ensuring that we have an established foundation. Our school has formed a partnership with Beaches Turks and Caicos which allows our senior students to have internship experiences at the resort. Seeing the different teams from BTC here today was refreshing as they have shown us as students, that there are many career opportunities available within the company and in the industry.”
Owenta Coleby, human resources manager at BTC added, “Our team at the seminar led by Antoinette Thomas, recruitment and compliance specialist ensured that the information needed to make informed career decisions was readily available. The team of leaders shared with those in attendance the value of choosing the right career within this industry and to know that joining the Beaches Turks and Caicos team will be the best career decision that they could make.”
Facilitator of the Tourism Club at the Clement Howell High and Social Studies teacher, Rebecca Shaw explained the value of having the students participate in the event. “Our students are being groomed not only to be employees, but to create employment for themselves. The tourism industry is such a dynamic field that it will allow them to be exposed to the different aspects of what the industry has to offer and to create their own niche within the sector. The partnership with Beaches Turks and Caicos has shown tremendous growth over the years as the resort continues to open its doors to allow our students the experience in the many areas of the industry.”
Antoinette Thomas closed by adding, “Being able to share practical demonstrations with these students about some of the offerings that we have at the resort was refreshing for them. They were able to have that opportunity to interact with professionals from the different departments, some of which are not often viewed as traditional tourism career areas. With BTC, we allow continuous training for all our team members, not only within the local region but also at our other resorts in other islands in the Caribbean region. We believe in development of all our team members as we inspire them to become the best within their particular vocation.”