Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was abuzz with excitement last week as over 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 that island.
The decision to fast-track recruitment efforts, ahead of the establishment of the first Beaches resort in the Eastern Caribbean at the former Buccament Bay site, is to buffer the displacement caused by the recent volcanic eruption and the continued economic fallout due to the pandemic.
Sandals Executive Chairman Adam Stewart said this recruitment drive will provide direct employment for nationals ahead of the resort’s opening.
“We remain committed to supporting the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by providing opportunities through immediate employment and the long-term linkages that will flow once Beaches Saint Vincent gets underway. 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 said.
The first phase of the recruitment drive took place on the island of Saint Vincent from May 26 to 28 with 462 in-person interviews. The Sandals team, led by Winston Anderson, Managing Di-rector for Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia, was impressed with the interactions throughout.
Anderson shared, “There was a remarkable response from the people of Saint 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 shortlisted and successful candidates will be placed at various resorts throughout the region.”
Saint 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 Saint 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,” Gonsalves said.
Minister Gonsalves added, “In addition to humanitarian support through the Sandals Foundation, Mr. Stewart recognizes 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 Saint 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 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. We thank them sincerely for their timely response.”
The recruitment drive is a manifestation of Sandals’ continued commitment to providing Caribbean nationals with training and employment opportunities across the region under its Team Member Ex-change Programme.
Beaches Saint Vincent is just one of several exciting new projects announced by Sandals Resorts in 2021. The resort 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.