Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett (2nd right) engages a batch of the first cohort of students to be trained at the M-Academy. M-Academy, which was launched Thursday, April 11in Kingston, is a Jamaica Social Investment Fund and Main Events partnership providing alternative livelihood and skills development.
The Tourism Ministry will contribute $300 million to a community tourism initiative that will see at risk youths being trained in event management to create and support local attractions for tourists.
The money will be disbursed to sixty-three (63) communities across the country to have small events and activities to attract more visitors, and increase potential earnings of small tourism suppliers.
The announcement was made during the official launch of M-Academy at the Chinese Benevolent Centre in Kingston, on Thursday, April 11. M-Academy is a Jamaica Social Investment Fund and Main Events partnership that will provide alternative livelihood and skills development. The main objective of the initiative is to provide demand driven skills in event production to 100 students from seven parishes across Jamaica.
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett who made the commitment of the supporting funds, at the event Thursday, said: “The building out of more tourism products under our Linkages Network, forms part of our overall growth strategy to attract more visitors by adding value and enhancing their experiences.”
He said these community tourism projects will provide authentic Jamaican experiences, whether it be food or entertainment, for our visitors and increase earnings for our suppliers.
In endorsing the move, Minister Bartlett said he was pleased that this initiative will help build the capacity of young people who will in turn be able to earn and meet the demands in the entertainment sector, which is inextricably linked to tourism.
The M-Academy training program will initially certify 100 at risk youth in various aspects of world class event management and production skills by one of the leading entertainment companies in the Caribbean.