THA Education secretary: THTI, a pillar of innovation

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Education, Research and Technology Secretary Zorisha Hackett. – File photo courtesy THA

THA SECRETARY of Education, Research and Technology Zorisha Hackett has described the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (THTI) as a “pillar of innovation” on the island.

She spoke at the unveiling of the THTI’s new logo at Blenheim on April 26.

Hackett said unveiling of the institute’s new logo is more than just a symbolic gesture.

“It represents a tangible manifestation of THTI’s vision to be the beacon for innovative learning experiences. It is also a dedication to fostering excellence in the hospitality and tourism industry,” she said.

“In an industry where excellence is paramount such as this one, THTI stands as a pillar of innovation, equipping our future leaders with the knowledge, skills and necessary values to succeed in a rapidly evolving global marketplace.”

Hackett praised the THTI’s board and faculty for understanding the importance of investing in education and training to ensure a skilled workforce and for sustainable growth.

“THTI, therefore, plays a crucial role in this endeavour providing our students, both on the island and abroad and soon to be regionally and might I dare say internationally for sustainable growth and development. It is through this investment that education and training will ensure a skilled workforce and sustainable growth.”

She added the institute, which is accredited, has the ability to nurture talent and foster a culture of excellence “as it will not only strengthen the foundation of the tourism and hospitality industry but continue to contribute to the overall economic prosperity of Tobago and Trinidad and Tobago by extension.”

Hackett added, “Let us recognise the importance of collaboration between academia and industry in shaping the future of tourism and hospitality on this 116 square miles.

“Together, let us try to create a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector that benefits our communities and enriches the lives of all who visit our shores.”

Goodwood/Mt St George assemblyman Megan Morrison told the audience she attended the institute many years ago and has seen its growth.

“As a matter of fact, because of THTI, I gained the love for marketing. That is where I went on to do my masters in marketing because of the passion and my experience here and a particular project that we did,” she said.

Morrison said students from Trinidad and other parts of the Caribbean are also enrolling at the institute.

“I say that is an improvement.”

Among those attending the unveiling was THTI’s acting CEO Kirton Sorias, who was appointed on February 1, 2024 for an initial period of three months.

During the April 25 plenary sitting, Hackett said Sorias receives a salary of $27,000 inclusive of a travelling and telephone allowance.

In the three months that Sorias has been at the helm of the institute, he has been able to implement several initiatives, including a system for staff reward and recognition.

The Employee of the Quarter initiative was put forward in February to reintroduce and R&R programme, which seeks to recognise and motivate staff.