A Jamaican firm has been selected by the regional tourism development agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), to conduct its first-ever regional skills audit to assess the competencies of the regional tourism workforce.

After a comprehensive process for procuring consultancy services to undertake this project, A-Z Information Jamaica was chosen to conduct this critical tourism human resources audit, as the industry seeks to navigate the next phase of Caribbean tourism and strategically plan for its future.

The exercise – funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to the tune of US$124,625 – is aimed at assessing the levels of knowledge and competencies of the Caribbean tourism workforce and identifying future skills needs for the region’s tourism and hospitality industry.

“A- Z is deeply honoured to have been selected to execute this strategically pivotal project in collaboration with the CTO at such an unprecedented moment in the history of our region and people.

“The convergence of the potentially crippling impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rapidly growing effects of climate change present us with a unique opportunity in this regional HR audit of the industry’s current leadership and workforce knowledge, skills and attitudes,” said A-Z chief executive officer, Noel Watson.

“We look forward to working together to help define and frame the profile of the creative, innovative and resilient tourism sector leadership and workforce that will help fashion 21st century Caribbean tourism.”

From an initial 12 companies expressing interest in providing consultancy services for the project, the Kingston-based firm was among four finalists invited to submit comprehensive proposals, and ultimately emerged the top-ranked firm.

The main goal of this project, which begins this month, is to help Caribbean tourism planners and policymakers better understand how to most effectively leverage human resource development for a more innovative and competitive industry.

Data obtained from the audit will contribute to effective human resource planning for the tourism industry in the region by providing a framework for decision-making, to guide the development and refinement of tourism education and training programmes by academic and training institutions in order to reduce skills gaps and mismatches and bring about more sustainable synergies.