OVER the next four years thousands of Caribbean nationals including Vincentians stand to benefit from increased employment and regional training opportunities as Sandals Resorts International (SRI) ramps up its long-established Team Member Exchange Programme and seeks to grow its staff from 15,000 to 20,000.
Finance Minister Ralph Gonsalves said the government recently concluded discussions with Sandals Resort International which will result in the employment of 200 Vincentians in the coming weeks to take up positions at a new Beaches Resort in TCI.
Gonsalves stated that the expectation is that these workers will gain experience and familiarity with the Beaches brand and standards and eventually rotate back through the various Sandals properties until they are re-deployed to Beaches Buccament Bay when the resort is completed.
The training follows the all-inclusive luxury resort chain’s recent announcement of new acquisitions, its expansion into a ninth Caribbean island destination, and its anticipation of a full recovery of the regional tourism sector from the devastating effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Sandals, in a news release, explained that the Team Member Exchange Programme is a central part of its future-facing strategy. The programme sees the continued movement of Caribbean nationals to take up assignments at a number of the company’s resorts across the region.
“The exchange programme is an initiative through the Sandals Corporate University (SCU) 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 said.
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 (MTP).
“Sandals Resorts International remains a true depiction of the spirit of Caricom. While in the short term we are focused on getting all our current team members back to work, we are also looking to the future and our mid- to long-term goals,” the release quotes SRI Executive Chairman Adam Stewart, adding that the company is very optimistic about the future of tourism and Sandals’ leading role in the sector’s full recovery in the region.