Rivers urges tourism sector to give locals jobs

| 28/08/2015 | 2 Comments
Cayman News Service

Caymankind mural at Owen Roberts Airport

(CNS): The employment minister is urging employers in the tourism industry to offer real job opportunities for local people and remove any artificial barriers preventing them from being employed. Speaking at a recent networking drive organised by CITA and the NWDA, Tara Rivers also told would-be workers in the sector to embrace, promote and display great customer service and the strong work ethic which the tourism sector demands.

The networking session took place last week at the Marriott Beach Resort and provided information for local job-seekers about the School of Hospitality programme, registration opportunities, a tourism industry overview, a panel discussion and a question and answer session. Officials said that training students and young people to prepare for careers in hospitality and tourism is a key component to the country’s human capital development.

A war of words followed a tourism drive by CITA at the beginning of the year with a backbench politician and the NWDA.

Concerns were raised by MLA Alva Suckoo, who said it appeared to be a deliberate attempt to discredit Caymanians and justify using cheap labour, as a result of a catalogue of issues and a lack of transparency surrounding the drive. Expressing his suspicions that it was manipulated to secure permits for employers, CITA and the NWDA went through a difficult period before a number of meetings led to a new commitment to work together.

“The continued strengthening of the partnership between NWDA and CITA … is a clear indication of the tourism sectors  commitment to highlighting the viability of careers in this most dynamic of industries and the accessibility of these opportunities by all,” the CITA president Kenneth Hydes said.

But the employment minister was keen to ensure that the networking translated into real jobs.

“It’s important to continue to promote employment in an industry representing one of the country’s largest economic drivers – Tourism,” Rivers said. “Members of CITA and the tourism industry players in general must ensure efforts such as these translate into real job opportunities for local people, removing whatever artificial barriers that exist which may be preventing that from happening. On the other hand, when given the jobs, employees must embrace, promote and display great customer service and a strong work ethic which the industry demands.”

She said that tourists and patrons are buying a service and workers must meet expectations.

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Category: Tourism

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians should not have to beg foreign (direct) investors for jobs, when it is, and should be, one key conditions when investing on these islands. But, as always, investors come with empty promises and the government waive their investors negligence to honor their obligations for being here. Instead, they bring their own [people] and harbor them on our islands claiming they were no competent and fitting persons for the jobs offered at their businesses.

    Moreover, tourism was a localized industry with Cayman sole owner or greater than 60% interest, many have since sold their shares/ownership to the detriment of the people of these islands. Going forward, it would take strong laws, similar to the Bahamas, and Wealthy Caymanian families to create a roadmap toward bring tourism [jobs] back to a predominantly Localized business & industry.

    I could never understand how a Tourist’s experience in Cayman could be enjoyed when it is so distant for that Islands’ culture? The answer lie in who the “real” tourist are. On these islands there are two types of the (1) unfamiliar tourist eager to experience our island the Cayman-way, and (2) the family, friends, and business associates who enjoy the luxury of their foreign (investor) friends’ businesses. Both exist, with the latter recruiting a preferred customer that divides the sector in favor of the foreigners, not the locals.

    No Cayman employment means no local presence, no “real” economic benefit to our islands.

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