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Success for hospitality careers fair

Front Pages 06 Mar, 2022 Follow News

One of the applicants is helped by a staff member of the Ritz-Carlton

Deputy Premier, Hon Chris Saunders

Left-to-right, Marc Langevin, Jackie Doak, Steven Andre, and Lee Parry, Manager of the Hampton by Hilton hotel

The long line of Caymanians and residents waiting to register outside the Ritz-Carlton Ballroom showed just how keen they are to get jobs in the Ritz-Carlton, Kimpton Seafire or Hampton by Hilton, the three hotels under Dart’s portfolio. Now that covid restrictions are being lifted and the big airlines have resumed regular flights, demand at Cayman’s top three hotels is taking off, and that means that they quickly need plenty of new, high-caliber staff.

More than 250 people registered. Inside the ballroom they were able to walk around and choose the one of the areas of hotel work they liked the best, with staff representing the different hotel departments, while a huge screen showed more than 80 different job titles representing well over 100 new jobs. “I’m looking for a job in retail,” said Pamela, one of the applicants. “I have never worked in a hotel before.” Lots of those who were applying were looking for a career-change.

Dart’s President of Business Development, Jackie Doak said, “The turnout today has really exceeded our expectations. The tourism industry and hospitality particularly have always had about a 30 percent Caymanian employment rate, but now it it’s time for the country and the hospitality companies and restaurants, to really start demonstrating the value of a career in tourism. It’s a blessing that we are seeing such high levels of guests who want to come back to the Cayman Islands, but on the other side we don’t have the labor pool to welcome them all back, so we’re constrained in the amount of guests that we can take, so are working very well with the ministers of labor and tourism in terms of how to get the labor pool to the level it needs to be, and also to get Caymanians engaged in the hospitality industry, and raise those percentages.”

Deputy Premier Chris Saunders said, “At the end of the day once Caymanian people are able and willing to work they should be given the first opportunity. This confirms the government’s position, that we know there are many people out there that are able to work and looking for work, and we want to give them an opportunity. Businesses need to demonstrate that they are willing to give Caymanians an opportunity. A work permit is a privilege, it is not a right, and they need to understand that as in any other country, the local population has to be given first opportunity.”

General Manager for the Kimpton, Steven Andre talked about the kinds of people he was looking for. “Now that the island has opened up a little bit more and we are seeing the last of the major airline carriers coming back this month, we are looking for all the right people to help us continue. I think that The Seafire has established itself as a place with great customer service, so we want to find people who fit into that type of environment – they want to be high energy, customer-centric, they want to have a great relationship with their coworkers and help us achieve our goals.”

Ritz Carlton General Manager Marc Langevin said, “I am very excited today. When we put our job fair together I was not confident on how many people would come, because we have done many job fairs over the last year or so, and not always having had the same success. Today it’s a very different environment, our hotels are open therefore this will create more opportunity.”

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