MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA — With visitor arrivals on the upswing and the revitalization of the cruise industry expected in short order, tourism workers are in demand in Jamaica.
The need is so much so that a new recruitment agency, Key Advantage Training and Recruitment Solutions, was recently launched in an effort to get job placements flowing.
Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President and Moon Palace Managing Director Clifton Reader said, “The hotel industry…we are now looking for workers because a lot of Americans now, they do not want to work in the service industries in America, so they are pulling our best.”
But Jamaica’s tourism industry is going to need all hands on deck with global travel showing signs of recovery in 2021 and heading into 2022.
According to Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, “This month of July is going to see a little over 200,000 visitors coming to the country, which would be about 65 percent of what 2019 was.
“So, we are well over the 50 percent mark and I expect that by the end of August, we will have reached one million visitors and earned US$1.5 billion.”
Bartlett noted that the first half of the year saw 50,000 tourism jobs recovered in the nation. But with an estimated 175,000 people employed in the sector, there remains more to be done to get employees back on the job.
Organizations like Key Advantage Training and Recruitment Solutions are anticipated to assist in that regard, not only with recruitment but also training to ensure prospective workers are well equipped to take on the task. This necessity of training was highlighted by Reader, who lamented a “crisis” in fulfilling middle management positions in the country.
“There is a crisis within the middle management sector in Jamaica… We have the right material just below them, but we have no one to bring them to that level where they can become full departmental managers, where they can become executive manager,” Reader said.
“This is what I hope your company will be able to do. I am convinced, based on the association of people around you, I am convinced you can do it.”
He added, “The JHTA looks to work with Key Advantage in recruitment, training and development and to prepare the next generation of hospitality employees and managers to provide Jamaica with the best possible resources across critical sectors.”
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