By Carlena Knight
The Multipurpose Cultural and Exhibition Centre was bustling with excitement yesterday as droves of residents flocked to the Perry Bay venue for the first day of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ job fair.
Men and women ranging in age from 18 to their late 30s showed interest in acquiring one of the many jobs being offered by the cruise line.
Many of the job seekers told Observer they welcomed the initiative and said the government and other cruise lines should make more opportunities like this available, saying there are many people in Antigua and Barbuda who are ready and willing to work in the cruise industry.
The few who spoke with Observer explained that the last two years had been difficult for them financially, due to the pandemic.
Some of the applicants who recently graduated from the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI) said they had struggled to find jobs as the tourism industry was basically non-existent.
On the other hand, those who were previously employed within the sector were forced to remain at home with many hotels operating with skeleton staff or temporarily closed.
Some of the applicants who attended the fair yesterday indicated their interest in securing positions in entertainment aboard the cruise ships, while the majority with a hospitality background were hoping to fill vacancies as waitresses, chefs, guest attendants, and tour guides.
There are two days left for holders of valid Antigua and Barbuda passports to apply for the positions; the recruitment drive continues from 9am to 4pm today and Wednesday.
The initial three days will be used for the screening of prospective candidates, while the final two days — Thursday and Friday — will be dedicated to interviewing the most suitable candidates.
Some positions may be offered on the spot during the recruitment drive, however, candidates must successfully complete a medical evaluation and be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or have begun the vaccination process.