Starting June 5, 10,000 Jamaicans will be hired to work on cruise ships abroad, says Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.
Bartlett, speaking to reporters after a ceremony at the Montego Bay Convention Center on May 27, said the massive employment comes at a time when the cruise and tourism sectors generally show signs of growth and are a clear indication that Jamaican workers on the global stage look positive.
“This is a big problem and a sign that the cruise ships are back”, argued the Minister.
“Cruise lines can recruit anywhere, and expressing a commitment to hire 10,000 of our countrymen and women is a sure sign of the confidence they have in our workers. We are talking about chefs, bellboys, waitresses… seafarers in general… almost in any department,” he added.
The minister noted that the cruisers will be recruiting, and Jamaicans just need to have a clean police record and a clean health list.
“Scores of Jamaicans have been working for major cruise lines… traveling all over the world for decades. Our workers have distinguished themselves in every conceivable department and cruise ship owners have taken notice. The best is yet to come because as soon as the cruise industry opens up more, you will see more of our people recruited,” he said.
Bartlett said that in recent conversations with cruise officials, Jamaica remains the first-choice country in terms of hiring workers, adding that “our work ethic and iconic stature are well known and will always give us that preferential advantage anywhere of this region.”
Most of the major cruise companies have recently been in the global action to hire workers, and Jamaica is, according to the numbers, one of the highest on their list.
This is not surprising given that a large number of workers have been working on mega liners owned by Carnival and Royal Caribbean for decades, from which they have made a huge contribution to Jamaica’s economy.
Bartlett said “the fact that these workers have made such significant contributions over the years to their country of birth would automatically qualify them for the newly created pension plans for tourism workers.
For years, they have been making significant contributions through remittances. They have been sending much-needed hard currency into the local economy and have been the source of stability for many families,” he added.