|A section of the audience at the local review meeting for External Hospitality Programme.
Employment prospects in the hospitality sector abroad will continue to erode Barbadian unemployment figures.
This was stated by Barbados’ Consul General to Toronto, Canada, Dr. Leroy McClean, today as he addressed the 2012 Annual Review Meeting of the External Hospitality Programme, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Pointing to statistics released by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer, he explained that in 2011 international tourist arrivals grew by 4.4 per cent, reaching 980 million, up from 935 million in 2010.
Observing that 2011 was characterised as a year of "stalled economic recovery", Dr. McClean noted, "These are encouraging results coming as they do at a time when globally we need levers to stimulate growth and job creation…The statistical reports coming out of UNWTO are therefore very heartening for us as we strive to seek out those opportunities available in the hospitality sector abroad."
Approximately 104 Barbadians travelled to Canada last year to work in the Canadian hospitality programme, which is facilitated by the National Employment Bureau (NEB).?? They worked in hotels such as the Marriott Resorts in Ontario and Halifax, Fern and Taboo Resorts.
Dr. McClean was full of praise for the hotel workers, stating that the Canadian employers spoke favourably about the "positive Barbadian work ethic", adding that the employers expressed satisfaction with Barbadians’ work performance, dedication to work and positive attitudes.
He informed those in attendance that Marriott and Taboo had re-issued invitations to staff who worked with them in 2011 to return for contracts again in 2012.??
"I am also pleased to report that this week representatives from Marriott, Halifax, were here to recruit seven additional persons to work with them this year. They have also invited back all five of the Barbadian employees who were with them in 2011," the Barbadian Consul General said.
In addition to the expected numbers going to those hotels, he remarked that the Barbados Liaison Service in Canada had reported that at least two more employers expressed interest in recruiting Barbadian workers.
"They asked for line cooks, housekeepers, restaurant staff and others.?? We are cautiously optimistic that more opportunities will come our way with other establishments," Dr. McClean noted.