While perhaps not earth-shattering news, Tuesday’s report that University of St. Martin (USM) received a positive evaluation of its Hospitality Programme should not go unnoticed. This is welcome news first of all for USM itself, of which the very continued existence had been in doubt following Hurricane Irma’s devastating passage less than two years ago.
Accreditations like the ones provided by the British Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) are important for the local higher-learning institution’s standing and ability to attract students. After all, without enough attendance any school’s right to exist would be affected.
What’s more, for a prime vacation destination having such a programme is obviously highly desirable to prepare employees for actual vacancies in the dominant tourism industry. Catering to the island’s labour market must therefore have high priority.
The person working as USM’s BTEC administrator is going abroad for further studies. Hopefully, her replacement has been well-arranged, because she apparently played a major role in this entire matter and – as they say – continuity is everything.
While the country continues to recover from arguably its worst natural disaster, human resources remain key to the future as resorts reopen and jobs become available. The St. Maarten Training Foundation (SMTF) courses at National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) financed from the Dutch-sponsored Trust Fund managed by the World Bank also contribute greatly to creating a workforce that can meet society’s demands of tomorrow.
Again, the idea is to not just to bounce back, but improve service and enhance the unique product known as “The Friendly Island.” Even what is good can always get better.