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Kenyan professionals called to hospitality rescue

Kenyan professionals called to hospitality rescue

Monday 25 November 2019

Kenyan professionals called to hospitality rescue


A local recruitment company will be interviewing 200 hospitality professionals in Kenya this week in a bid to plug staff shortages in the local hospitality industry

GR8 Recruitment is sending a delegation to the Kenyan Utalli College in Nairobi on Wednesday to interview 200 members from the college Alumni Association.

The successful candidates will arrive in Jersey in stages in early 2020 and will be working within the 9-month non-EU hospitality work permit permissions.

Jersey’s immigration policy was changed earlier this year to allow for 150 short-term seasonal work permits in a bid to ease the recruitment crisis in the island’s hospitality industry.

Those that gain a permit will have to leave once it expires, and will not be able to return for another three months.

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Pictured: Simon Soar, the Chief Executive of the Jersey Hospitality Association (JHA).

Simon Soar, the Chief Executive of the Jersey Hospitality Association (JHA), said the easing of the regulations would provide a significant boost to the industry ahead of the 2019 tourism season. 

“We are absolutely delighted with this result,” he added. “It is the culmination of a lot of hard work for us and the Government departments which have worked with us. 

“In terms of recruitment, 2018 was a particularly difficult year for the majority of our members and the evidence that we were able to provide showed clearly that this was part of a wider trend rather than a one-year anomaly. 

Video: An example of the campaigns run by GR8 Recruitment to attract professionals to the island.

There are currently 122 jobs for the hospitality sector being advertised on the government website as well as 46 active vacancies on the GR8 web site.

GR8 works with Highlands College and Skills Jersey to source and recruit local talent but says there is not a sufficient local resource to meet demand which means other avenues have had to be explored.  

The company has launched social media and recruitment campaigns which led the hiring of a number of professionals from entry level to management positions.

However, GR8r says it became apparent that these campaigns were not going to fill a void of staff resources in 2020 and which meant businesses might have to reduce the number they could serve, offer fewer beds, or in some cases, not operate at all. 

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Pictured: Local wages – which are comparable and at time less than those offered in the UK or EU - are not attractive enough for foreign workers.

Sourcing staff from the Common Travel Area of the EU has proven difficult due to a number of barriers such as cost of travel, local wages – which are comparable, and at times less than those offered in the UK or EU; the lack, and cost of, accommodation and the limited number of registered permissions, or licenses, for some businesses.

GR8 has therefore suggested that recruiting from further afield could provide an “affordable, workable and realistic partial solution" to the recruitment crisis. 

Jersey already has an established history with Utalii College and has welcomed hundreds of its former students over the years. 

Pictured: The Kenyan Utalli College in Nairobi. (Google Maps)

GR8 Managing Director, Lee Madden, believes that meeting potential candidates face to face - rather than through an impersonal mail and Skype method -  is the best way to select the right ones for roles in Jersey. 

“We will ensure that the candidates selected for the roles in Jersey meet all the legal requirements, have a passion for their profession and have researched Jersey and our own hospitality industry so that they can be the best they can be working here on their nine month contract,” he said.

“The JHA is delighted to see GR8, a gold partner of ours, going to such levels as to provide the industry with the staffing options it needs during this difficult recruitment period,” Mr Soar added. 

“We support this initiative as it provides such value to the industries recruiting needs.”

 

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Posted by john garner on
Yet again the hospitality industry is favoured above other trades / industries on the Island
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