Sandals Grande Antigua’s Learning and Development department recently collaborated with the Labour Department to host an informational session for team members regarding the Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy (CSME) Free Movement of Skilled Nationals.
The session, held in the resort’s Lord Nelson Ballroom was facilitated by Deputy Labour Commissioner Pascall Kentish and Acting Free Movement Desk Officer Trese Morris. The facilitators with their wealth of knowledge in the field of labour matters and the CSME, focused their presentation on the CSME skilled certificate eligibility requirements, the process of acquiring the certificate and most importantly how soon hospitality workers would have to wait to be added to the list of skill categories approved by CARICOM.
“There is a mechanism for people to move throughout the region for work, and people should take the opportunity to make use of these mechanisms to work legally. So, if you have Antiguan nationals who are eligible to apply and don’t apply, then they could miss out on an opportunity to move to a participating country to work and further develop their career,” Kentish explained.
As Sandals Resorts International expands throughout the region with Sandals Royal Curacao opening in June and the first Beaches Resort in the Eastern Caribbean already in the works, Sandals’ Learning and Development Manager Carlene Spencer said, “Many of our team members have been expressing and showing interest in joining our taskforce, to participate in the company’s Team Member Exchange Programme and work at these properties. Others have expressed interest to work and possibly transfer to other resorts within the Sandals chain throughout the region. It is therefore important for them to understand the free movement policies that are established and for us to provide the team members with the opportunity to be informed and benefit from the application process.”
The hour-long session was well attended with over 70 team members present who were excited and motivated to participate.
Tyril Joseph from the Sales Department said, “Sandals is a melting pot and more of these sessions are welcome. Team members are always looking for new opportunities within the company and Sandals affords us the chance to visit other countries and resorts as part of its Team Member Exchange Programme taskforce and it is good for us to know who are eligible to apply for these certificates and what the process to follow thereafter.”
“I am presently completing my Bachelor’s degree so it’s a motivation for me to be more marketable within the CARICOM states. I think the session went very well. It was words of inspiration for me,” added Assistant Weddings Manager Meria Govia.
Team members expressed thanks to the Sandals Learning and Development Department for hosting the session and expressed the desire for more such sessions.
“We actually ran out of application forms for team members who attended this session. So now we are looking at possibly hosting another session shortly, to provide team members who could not get in because of space constraints and could not attend because of operational duties, a chance to get in on the information presented today,” Spencer said.