By Carlena Knight
Residents working in the hospitality industry and recent graduates of the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute are being invited to sign up for a new job exchange programme with Jersey, in the British Isles.
The six-month opportunity, which will run from April to September 2022, is part of a new partnership between the twin island nation and the Channel Island. Those working in the sector in either country will be able to travel to the other to work.
The call was made by Patrice Simon of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA) during a press conference yesterday to launch the three-year partnership.
Simon however said that interested persons will have to go through an interview process to get approval to join.
“We are asking all interested persons to email their resume to us at the association at [email protected] and we will also be having an interview day where all applicants in this category will be assessed,” she said.
“We certainly want to ensure that the right people are fitted to the right jobs in Jersey.
“We have also created a secure portal where persons can actually log on to view jobs that are available in Jersey.
“Our partners in Jersey will upload all available jobs in the country on this portal and all of the approved applicants, whether graduates of the ABHTI, member employees of the ABHTA or other hospitality professionals, will be given access where they can create profiles, upload their resumes, apply for jobs and communicate directly with employers in Jersey,” she added.
Chefs fully or partially trained, middle operations management and all frontline staff, fully or partially trained, may apply.
The Jersey programme is only open to citizens of Antigua and Barbuda. Proof of citizenship must be provided at the time of application.
In addition to ABHTI graduates, the opportunity is open to employees of member hotels of the ABHTA, and trained hospitality professionals with a minimum of three years’ work experience in the industry.
According to Simon, they are hoping to have at least 100 persons involved in this programme during the first year.
All approved applicants who have secured a job in Jersey will then have to complete a customer service training course, EASE – Exceeding All Service Expectations – as well. This four-hour training will be conducted virtually via Zoom.
There will also be opportunities for educator and training exchanges between the ABHTI and Jersey’s Highlands College.
Chair of the ABHTI Shirlene Nibbs welcomed the initiative for the school.
Nibbs thanked Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner to the UK, Karen-Mae Hill, and tourism officials both in the twin island nation and Jersey, for the opportunity. She also spoke on the fact that the new partnership coincides with the school’s aim of enhancing the skills of employees to add value to the local hospitality sector.
“We are always eager and excited to provide our students and alumni family with opportunities to further develop and hone their skills and abilities and competencies in the tourism and hospitality sectors internationally,” Nibbs said.
“This opportunity of an exchange of human resources will enhance skills, we will have some training opportunities, some developmental opportunities, and we cannot minimise the level of exposure that it will bring to our nationals and, therefore, add value to our hospitality sector as well.
“We look forward to the success of the first cohort of participants in this endeavour as they undertake and share aspects of our culture and hospitality on new shores and, no pun intended, we want them to extend hospitality on the Jersey shores as well,” Nibbs stated.
Tourism Minister Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez, who was also present at the press conference, spoke about just how impactful a partnership like this one would be for the country and thanked all involved in making it happen.
A memorandum of understanding will be signed by Minister Fernandez and Jersey’s Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Senator Lyndon Farnham.