Training institution launched to raise skill levels of service sector employees
Stabroek News – March 28, 2008
Four enterprising Guyanese women have established a new business centre which they say is designed to enhance the quality of social skills among the pool of employees in the service sector.
Visions of Excellence is seeking to provide employees in the commercial sector including the retail trade, and the hotel and restaurant industries with skills which its directors say can enhance the quality of their personal lives and add value to their role as workers in the service sector.
“What we have embarked upon is a response to what we believe has been a serious drop in standards in the service sector. Everywhere you go these days there are complaints about workers at the ‘low end’ of the service sector who are simply unable to provide consumers with an acceptable quality of service,” Jacqueline Ault, one of the Directors of Visions of Excellence told Stabroek Business.
Ault told Stabroek Business that it was not a question of a lack of competence on the part of those employees. “The simple truth is that having employed large number of early school leavers to do low-paying jobs in the service sector, some employees have not troubled themselves to invest in any form of training,” Ault added.
Training programmes being offered by Visions of Excellence will target employees in department stores, hotels, restaurants and in the tourism sector. “We believe that what we are seeking to do can help change the face of the service sector in Guyana,” Hamer said.
Cherylyne Baxter-Dennis, a retired Headmistress and a consultant to Visions of Excellence told Stabroek Business that the organization will be seeking to sensitize young employed persons and persons who are on the job market with critical information relating to dress, deportment, interfacing with employers, interfacing with customers, writing applications and preparing for interviews. Baxter-Dennnis told Stabroek Business that Visions of Excellence is also contemplating providing employed early school leavers with a remedial programme in the core subjects.
Meanwhile, Ault told Stabroek Business that the Visions of Excellence will be seeking to engage both public and private sector entities to offer them what she says are “particularly relevant services.” Ault said that the Visions of Excellence team was particularly looking forward to meeting with representatives of the Georgetown Chamber, the Private Sector Commission and the various other business organizations. “What Visions of Excellence will also be seeking to do is to engage business organizations directly in cases where we believe that the nature of their businesses provide us with an opportunity to improve the quality of the service that they provide.
Visions of Excellence is offering a One-Day Course in Etiquette on April 7 and Ault said that there were still several places open on the course.
Over the next four months Visions of Excellence will be running at least three programmes that will target stakeholders in the tourism sector. Ault said that Visions of Excellence is also seeking a meeting with Culture Minister Frank Anthony to offer its services to train liaison offers who will be working with CARIFESTA in August.