The work programme through which nearly fifty Antiguans and Barbudans have received temporary employment in Jersey, a UK dependency located in the English Channel has been extended.
Executive Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourist Association, Patrice Christian-Simon, said her organisation will formally launch the work programme today during a state television appearance.
The programme was negotiated by the ABHTA, the Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua and Barbuda High Commissioner to Britain, Karen-Mae Hill.
The agreement was signed on behalf of the government by Tourism Minister, Charles Fernandez.
Simon revealed that forty-eight people travelled to Jersey for temporary employment between May and October last year.
This year, however, the aim is to have as many as one hundred persons participate in the programme. This year’s participants will leave for Jersey in April until September.
“We have had very good responses from those who participated in the programme last year as well as from the properties where they were employed. Twenty-five of those who attended are returning with twelve going back to the properties where they worked last year.
“Overall we are very impressed with the first year of the programme, not just us at the ABHTA, but for the property owners in Jersey as well,” she disclosed.
According to Christian-Simon Antigua and Barbuda stands to reap many benefits by participating in the programme. These include the remittances sent home by the participants and the opportunity the participants have to broaden their work experience in an international setting.
“They were able to work in a completely different environment to the one in which they are accustomed. Last year we were filling a void caused by Brexit and the pandemic, however, our people were able to gain first hand experience working in a country where tourism is an important, but not the main industry.
“Culturally, they also gained from working alongside people from different cultures and experiences and this has been to their overall benefit,” she noted.
The ABHTA’s executive director noted that the skill sets required this year have been broadened to include hospitality sector workers including those who service hotels, restaurants, attractions, event planners and related businesses.
The recruitment take place among those who are presently employed by ABHTA member properties, graduands who completed training at the Antigua Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute within the last two years and people who are self-employed in the hospitality sector