The partnership between Antigua and Barbuda and Jersey in the Channel Islands today marked another milestone as the first cohort of hospitality professionals from Antigua and Barbuda will be taking up positions this month at various properties in Jersey. Under the memorandum of Understanding between both Governments, the successful candidates will have the opportunity to work for six months in Jersey.
Fifteen hospitality professionals are now set to depart for Jersey to begin their work experience and gain international exposure.
The candidates were presented with their EASE (Exceeding all Service Expectations) certificates and pins during a pinning ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association. In attendance were Minister of Tourism and Investment, The Honourable Charles Fernandez, Executive Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association Patrice Simon, Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Karen-Mae Hill, Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute/ABHTI Shirlene Nibbs, Executive Director of the ABHTI, Ruthlyn Matthias and CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James, amongst other well-wishers.
The Honourable Charles ‘Max” Fernandez, Minister of Tourism and Investment in his congratulatory message to the candidates remarked, “You are all now Ambassadors for Antigua and Barbuda, paving the way for others to follow. As the first cohort, you have a very important role, because the future of other Antiguans and Barbudans being able to gain from this unique global experience lies with you. Focus on this as an exciting opportunity designed to allow you to learn new approaches, demonstrate your skillset and introduce the hospitality businesses you will be immersed in, to Antigua and Barbuda. Gain knowledge and experience that once acquired can be shared with your colleagues upon your return to Antigua and Barbuda”.
The Jersey Government experienced a shortage of employees due to Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. To fill that void, they approached the High Commissioner’s Office in the United Kingdom to forge a partnership whereby Antiguans and Barbudans can fill key roles including Chefs, middle operation management roles in hotels and in restaurants and front-line staff across multiple disciplines including, but not exclusive to Food & Beverage, Housekeeping, Front of House. The partnership was a great match, as Jersey’s high season for Tourism is April to September, our traditional offseason.
Schena Drew, one of the successful candidates will take up the role of Front of House Supervisor at the Lookout Café and Restaurant in Jersey. She expressed appreciation to both the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Jersey for making the partnership possible and remarked that all candidates have been afforded this opportunity because “we have shown great strengths in our respective fields whether it be housekeeping, reception or Food and Beverage and we are thankful for the opportunity to showcase this and represent Antigua and Barbuda as the best in hospitality. We share a commitment to be true ambassadors of our country and this we pledge to do, through demonstrating a strong work ethic, exuding genuine warm Antiguan and Barbudan personalities, and remaining professional at all times”.
All of the candidates were required to participate in the EASE Training programme conducted by Corporate Training and Development Consultant Shirlene Nibbs.
Hospitality professionals who qualified for the Jersey work experience programme were required to be recent graduate of the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute, working at one of the members properties of the Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association or a hospitality professional with at least three years’ experience.