Government continues to make great strides in sourcing job opportunities for Barbadians overseas, particularly in the United States and Canada.
The United States/Canadian Hotel Workers’ Programme, one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Labour, is reaping much success for the 2007 season with a number of the overseas hotels returning to recruit additional workers.
Among those returning were Blue Mountain Ski Resorts, Vintage Inns and Taboo Resorts in Canada. According to a Labour Ministry official, “this trend augurs well for the programme which has come in for increased competition from workers in the region, namely Jamaica and Trinidad, and from other markets such as Mexico. The only challenge for local labour officials is maintaining the supply of well-trained workers needed to meet the high demand overseas.”
Amelia Island Plantation in northern Florida is the latest hotel to show continued interest in Barbadian workers with four representatives: Employment Manager, Cynde Maxwell; International Coordinator, Tracey Griffin; Director of Housekeeping Linda Clemens; and Golf Shop Manager, Lauren Martin, visiting the island as part of a week long recruitment drive.
The hotel is seeking to hire an additional 69 workers which would bring their Barbadian staff complement to 150.
The hotel officials met with Minister of Labour, Rawle Eastmond and, Labour Department personnel recently in Warrens. They praised the Barbadian employees for their positive work ethic, noting that they had adapted quite well to working in a different culture and environment.
Amelia Island has also joined a growing list of hoteliers who have given Barbadian employees a very favourable report.
Mr. Eastmond attributed this to Barbados’ focus on the tourism and hospitality industry, noting that this factor, along with proper training opportunities, had made the Barbadian hospitality worker a viable employment solution for overseas employers.
The external employment programme employs hundreds of Barbadians at hotels across Canada and the southern United States. They work in a variety of positions, including room attendants, servers, cooks, housekeepers and some managerial posts.