Now that both airlines capacity has increased, plus of course cruise tourism has made a big comeback, the tourism and hospitality sector is really crying out for top-notch staff who can fill the gap. That means a really great opportunity for Caymanians to get jobs in the industry, hence the latest in a series of tourism job fairs, this one at the Marriott, aimed at Caymanians and residents-with-the-right-to-work. Job-seekers could attend a series of ‘preliminary,’ interviews in the area of work they were most interested in, and then each of the companies could follow up with another interview at a later date. The fair put on by the Ministry of Tourism, Department of Tourism, Chamber of Commerce, and Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC).
“This is one of many job fairs we have had so far, through the process of slowly opening. We are not quite there yet but we are pretty much 90 percent of the way,”said Minister of Tourism, Hon. Kenneth Bryan. “We need industry stakeholders to make sure that look to Caymanians first before anybody else,” When asked if there were bigger percentages of Caymanians entering the industry this time around, Mr. Bryan answered, “We can’t make that analysis quite yet, because the industry is not back at its full force yet. It is the hope and intent to get a higher percentage of Caymanians in the industry. That’s why there’s this constant commitment to having these type of fairs, to make sure industry players and partners know that the Cayman labor pool is available.”
Mr. Bryan said that there have been a number of training programs which have been put in place to make sure that Caymanians are properly equipped with the skills they need for each segment of the industry, adding, “I think that this assertion that ‘Caymanians are not trained enough’ is sometimes an escape from the true responsibility of hiring Caymanians. I think that government has proven their commitment to training Caymanians through much money allocated to the Hospitality School, and through various other training programs. But most of the best training you can get is an opportunity for training on the job, so the stakeholders in the industry need to recognize that they have a role to play in the long term solutions which benefit this country, by being committed to the Caymanian people.”
One jobseeker, Ombretta, was filling in a form, after having a series of preliminary interviews. “I have already had quite a few years’ experience, and I am looking for work in the customer service representative area,” she said. Another jobseeker, Ana Olson said, “I am looking for more interaction with people, as in making tourists comfortable. Much my life goal to just help people, and we have tourism industry, so that would be a good opportunity for me.”
Sharlene Brenkus General Manager of and the Wyndham Reef Resort in East End said, “We opened in January and for us a priority is ensuring we have a good foundation of staff to be able to service and provide the experience to deliver on our guests’ expectations. We’re looking for housekeepers, laundry attendants, food and beverage servers for the restaurant, runners, and we are also in desperate need of some front-desk staff, so we are looking for a little bit of everything. We prefer to find staff that have some experience in the positions we have open but we are also willing to train. We are looking for individuals that are willing to work that we can count on to be part of our small but unique family.