First Look

YUTE protégés strengthen service for Restaurant Week

YUTE | 2015-12-10 00:00:00

Protégés of Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE) who have been trained in Food Preparation, Mixology and related skills are continuing to provide support for special events on the culinary calendar. This month they have been playing a valuable role in Restaurant Week 2015. A total of 18 young people have been employed for the event by participating restaurants this year, the fifth year in a mutually beneficial partnership between YUTE and Restaurant Week.

As they prepared for the event, Stephanie Scott, Managing Director of SSCO Event Management and Conceptualiser of Restaurant Week in Jamaica assured the YUTE protégés that their input was vital to the success of the Week, which saw participating restaurants coping with greatly increased numbers of patrons.

“Restaurant Week happens because of people like you,” Mrs. Scott told them, “Chefs, waiters, reception people. It is a very important role that you play, because just as important as the food, is the service.” Urging them to work hard, be pleasant and enthusiastic, and to demonstrate their best skills, she noted, “While this is a great opportunity for you, remember that it is also a great responsibility.”

Mrs. Scott was talking with the YUTE protégés at a November 6 refresher workshop for them hosted by YUTE in association with HEART Trust/NTA, held at the Garmex HEART Academy on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston.

The young YUTE graduates and continuing students also had a pep talk from YUTE Executive Director Alicia Glasgow Gentles, who urged them to put their best forward to make a positive first impression. She reminded them of the importance of the “soft” skills which YUTE provides in addition to technical skills training – noting the value of positive attitudes, punctuality, work attire, and deportment.

Despite the fact that youth unemployment, at 38%, is nearly triple the national unemployment rate, she pointed out, “Remember that a lot of employers are looking for good, young people to hire! And many YUTE protégés have been kept on as permanent employees following exceptional performance during Restaurant Week.”

The YUTE workshop participants also received an intensive briefing on Interview Techniques from Michelle Thompson, Career Development Officer, HEART Trust/NTA, and a refresher presentation on Customer Service from Stacey Ann Gayle, Hospitality Facilitator, Boys’ Town Vocational Training Centre. Rockoya Johnson, Industry Liaison Officer with HEART Trust/NTA stressed the importance of Deportment, in her presentation.

Over the past five years, YUTE has trained and placed more than 90 of its protégés in temporary jobs with participating restaurants during Restaurant Week. Over the years, approximately 50 of them gained full time jobs with these employers. In 2015, the 18 participants were offered placements at eight restaurants including: Alhambra Inn & Restaurant, Abar Restaurant and Lounge, Brick Oven, Nirvana Indian Restaurant, Red Bones Blues Café, Sea Deck Restaurant and C&C South Beach Restaurant and Sports Bar.

YUTE’s Executive Director noted that with the growing number of annual events in Kingston, there is increased scope for YUTE to expand partnerships with other large-scale event organisers. This, she says, is a win-win situation as organisers will be able to meet their heightened labour demand, while creating short and long-term job opportunities for the young people who are trained in various skills, but are in need of employment.

Posted By :Jacqueline Vickers

Company Name : YUTE

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