Sandals Resorts International (SRI) says it will employ 500 Vincentians when the company begins its recruitment drive in the next few weeks for a planned Beaches Resort on that island, which has been hard hit by explosive eruptions at La Soufrière volcano.
“In light of the displacement many are experiencing due to the volcanic eruption, we are fast-tracking our plans for employment and training opportunities,” a company news release quoted Executive Chairman Adam Stewart as saying.
“We are committed to supporting the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, especially during these challenging times, and we remain even more committed to delivering on this exciting Beaches project,” stated Stewart, who is also executive chairman of this newspaper.
Last year, Sandals announced plans to bring its Beaches brand to St Vincent, a move which promises expansive economic growth for the Eastern Caribbean island. According to Stewart, the recruitment drive ahead of the resort’s opening represents only the first move towards fulfilling this promise.
“Increased employment, which will continue throughout construction and beyond, is only one aspect of the massive economic footprint the Beaches brand will bring to St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Stewart said. “The economic benefits will be significant — from increased airlift benefiting all surrounding islands, to direct and indirect linkages to critical sectors such as transportation, tours and excursions, agriculture and manufacturing.”
Sandals said the upcoming recruitment drive is a manifestation of its continued commitment to providing Caribbean nationals with training and employment opportunities across the region under its Team Member Exchange Programme.
“Qualified Vincentians will be encouraged to apply for a raft of positions across the region which will be advertised in the coming week, ranging from bartenders and cooks to concierge and front desk agents and restaurant managers. Applications will be accepted by e-mail and, thereafter, shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview with successful candidates placed at various resorts across the region,” SRI explained.
“We are very excited to get this programme under way,” Stewart said. “The successful applicants will be the very ones who will come back to lead and train other Vincentians when we officially open Beaches St Vincent and, as a company built on training and development, we look forward to what will definitely be a full-circle moment for these team members.”
In addition to this recruitment drive, the company has also supported post-eruption relief efforts through its philanthropic arm, Sandals Foundation, which has been working closely with local authorities to provide support.
Beaches St Vincent is just one of several exciting new projects announced by Sandals Resorts in 2021, which will also see new resorts in Jamaica and Curaçao, followed by St Lucia, all of which are expected to create some 5,000 new jobs over the next five years.