Over 600 Job Seekers Participated In Job Fair By ABHTA


Over 600 job seekers converged at the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI) last Friday (27 September), for the job fair organised by the Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA), hoping to secure a spot with one or more of the 25 hotels, resorts and tourism-based businesses that were represented on property.

Shirlene Nibbs, chairperson of the ABHTI Board expressed satisfaction at the institute being the site of the job fair, especially on World Tourism Day and in collaboration with the ABHTA. She noted that with ABHTI’s mandate to “prepare citizens for the world of tourism and to assist them in becoming global citizens prepared to provide a global service,” it was the perfect location to host the day’s activities.

Nibbs went on to say the ABHTI focuses on “standards, service excellence and persons
who understand how to satisfy a visitor.”

Executive Director of the Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA) Patrice Simon noted that her team worked tirelessly to ensure “every possible scenario was thought of,” including a very structured registration and interview process.

She mentioned that the initiative was strategically held on World Tourism Day to emphasise the theme “Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all.” Not only did the event allow for hoteliers to meet potential staff that would be needed for the upcoming tourist season, but individuals interested in joining the field of hospitality and tourism got the opportunity to make a first impression. Simon added that once the ABHTA sent the call out the response was overwhelming.

The day also saw Minister of Tourism Max Fernandez and Junior Minister in the ministry Senator Mary Claire Hurst show their support by attending. Both Fernandez and Hurst lauded the initiative and viewed it as the type of event that would ensure job opportunities for a number of applicants.

Hoteliers in attendance were very pleased with a number of the applicants they were able to
interview. Matara Murphy, Training and Development Manager at Sandals Grande Antigua
mentioned there were some applicants “who are not in the industry but who have the right attitude, demeanour and mindset” to become successful. She noted that it was an excellent turnout especially since the event was being held for the first time.

A few of the resorts and hotels represented included Jumby Bay Island, Galley Bay Resort and Spa, Sugar Ridge, Hermitage Bay and The Great House along with other businesses such as the Rendezvous Company, Big Banana Group of Companies and the Antigua Rainforest Company.



  1. This is great for our young people. We need to have a database setup where our unemployed young people can register themselves and where the hoteliers can have access to the various skills available. Also needed is strict execution of the labour department not to grant anymore work permits to any foreigner if their are qualified Antiguans available for the job and if if the qualification is not quite on par that the Antiguan be given time to get qualified. Because sometimes all the do is to cut the requirements exactly to the expatriate’s profile. Antiguans need a fair change to fill any position in this industry. This is why we spend lots of tax payers dollars to market our destination. And this is why we train our young people to be ready to take on their rightful place in their country. They do not have to migrate in order to have a good job and make a good living in their country of birth. And I’m in particular upset with the many expatriate chefs we have here. We have enough qualified Antiguan Chefs by now. If foreign chefs want to come to Antigua and set up a restaurant that is fine. But they should not take up employment and rob Antiguans from earning living.

    • The government has such place already called the One Stop Employment Centre (OSEC) but it don’t work like it ought to. The database there should be filled with unemployed individual both young and middle age information who have registered there since it has opened it door in full operation. The people who are responsible to make the system there work are not doing a good job. Either they don’t have any Human Resource Management skills. Their responsibility from what I understand are to match each application with the right available job both in the private and government sector.

    • I agree that no foreign chef should come to Antigua and take up jobs in the hotel industries when we have qualified Antiguans and Barbudans here who can do the jobs and better. Something like this and more are very upsetting to me.

  2. @ Sideline ….everything you said but them say ANTIGUANS needs training and WE too poor boast yet Sandals prefer the 7tone bleach out face workers bcos Butch prefers dem…..

    I also think that the expatriates aka foreigners shouldnt even be allowed to attend …


  3. Only 3 males I have seen in this Job Fair photo and don’t tell me that was all showed up. Where are all the unemployed young males in Antigua and Barbuda? Don’t they want work?

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