Skerritt was at the time making remarks at a ceremony on Friday, 9th September, 2011, at the ICT Centre in Basseterre, at which time the scholarships were being announced for the 16 nationals who are to benefit.
The Minister told the recipients that the scholarships would expose them to new skills training and education in Taiwan.
“we are confident that your exposure to the culture and economy of Taiwan and your education and awareness that results from this short term training will unquestionably outfit you better for what you do, and make you more productive and more empowered, more confident, more versatile and more skillful in the future” said Skerritt.
Skerritt explained that although this project fits so perfectly into what the government is trying to do with people empowerment and economic development, it was not one directly from his ministry.
“Why do I say that this project fits perfectly into the government program of empowerment and economic development?” He asked.
“Tourism is a globally competitive industry, an industry that involves people moving from one country to the next and in most cases one part of the world to the next, and doing so consciously to achieve their own personal or group objective. It is the host country that is delivering goods and services above expectations that is going to be sustainable,” stated Skerritt.
“This (the scholarship program) came about because of the visit of our Prime Minister to Taiwan; his visit to the very institution where you are going to be attending and it was his determination to make this idea possible,” said the Tourism Minister.
“One of the things that always amazes me about our Prime Minister, is that when he sees an opportunity and he makes a decision that he’s going to pursue it, at that point he hasn’t even looked at the logistics for implementation, he just comes back and he says let’s get this done.”
He continued by saying that as a government their track record is solid in many areas, but none more so than in the field of education, and skills development.
“Anything you learn in Taiwan and as you interact with people from other nationalities in Taiwan, it is important that you bring it back and benefit from it, so that all of us here can benefit. One thing we know we will benefit from is in your work in the tourism industry, that your awareness and commitment to excellence will be raised simply by this trip and by this program that you are entering” said Mr. Skerritt.
He went on to congratulate both the Taiwanese government and the scholarship winners.
The scholarships awarded, were for studies in Hospitality and Tourism training.