1,300 respond to Sandals recruitment drive in St Vincent

St Vincent and the Grenadines was abuzz with excitement last week as more than 1,300 Vincentians responded to the recruitment call by Sandals Resorts International (SRI) as the company begins preparations to bring its Beaches resort brand to the Eastern Caribbean territory.

The decision to fast-track recruitment ahead of the establishment of the first Beaches resort in the Eastern Caribbean, at the former Buccament Bay site, is in an effort to buffer the displacement caused by the recent eruption of La Soufrire volcano and the continued economic fallout due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Sandals Executive Chairman Adam Stewart said this recruitment drive will provide direct employment for nationals, even ahead of the resort’s opening.

“We remain committed to supporting the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines by providing opportunities through immediate employment and the long-term linkages that will flow once Beaches St Vincent gets under way,” Stewart is quoted in a news release from the multiple award-winning all-inclusive luxury resort company.

“For now, I am excited at the feedback from this first phase of the recruitment process which identified some amazing candidates, and we look forward to phase two as we aim to provide employment opportunities for some 500 Vincentians in the first instance,” Stewart added.

The first phase of the recruitment drive took place on the island of St Vincent from May 26 to 28 with 462 in-person interviews conducted. The Sandals team, led by Winston Anderson, managing director for Sandals Resorts in St Lucia, was impressed with the interactions.

“There was a remarkable response from the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and we were pleased that in the limited period we had on the ground we were able to accommodate over 460 persons. These will be further short-listed and successful candidates will be placed at various resorts throughout the region,” Anderson explained.

St Vincent’s Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Information Technology Camillo Gonsalves said the recruitment drive was timely, and described it as a massive gesture of Caribbean solidarity.

“We were thrilled to welcome the Sandals team to St Vincent and the Grenadines. Sandals is a quintessentially Caribbean company, and Adam Stewart has leveraged his company’s regional presence to provide meaningful assistance to Vincentians in the wake of our recent volcanic eruptions,” Minister Gonsalves said.

“In addition to humanitarian support through the Sandals Foundation, Mr Stewart recognises that the best way to help affected citizens is to offer hope and opportunity through meaningful employment. I am grateful to Sandals and Beaches resorts for their demonstrated commitment to St Vincent and the Grenadines as both a place to do business and as a member of our Caribbean family. Sandals has established unambiguously that they are an integral part of our present recovery and our future development in St Vincent and the Grenadines. We thank them sincerely for their timely response,” he added.

The recruitment drive is a manifestation of Sandals’ continued commitment to provide Caribbean nationals with training and employment opportunities across the region under its Team Member Exchange Programme.

“The exchange programme is an initiative through the Sandals Corporate University and allows recruits to become immersed in the Sandals and Beaches resorts’ culture while existing employees are seconded to other resorts, providing an opportunity to travel and become exposed to new working environments and cultures, widen their skills and insights, enhance their career development, and positively impact their job performance on return to their home resort,” Sandals had explained in March.

The programme, the company said, remains a clear indication of its commitment to regional integration and, equally, its investment in its people, which has been met with much success through initiatives such as the Management Trainee Programme which identifies and grooms outstanding young recruits to become managers in the company through hands-on learning and training at resorts across the region.

Beaches St Vincent is just one of several exciting new projects announced by Sandals Resorts in 2021. The chain recently broke ground for three new resorts in Jamaica with plans to follow for Curacao and St Vincent, all of which are expected to create some 5,000 new jobs over the next five years.

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