Puerto rico government

Imbert happy that 2,000 people have found jobs on a cruise ship

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WAITING AND HOPE: In this file, people outside NAPA, Port of Spain, on Tuesday, wait to be interviewed for jobs on Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Photo by Sureash Cholai

Acting Prime Minister Colm Imbert is pleased that 2,000 citizens have been able to secure employment with Royal Caribbean International.

He expressed his joy as he answered questions from the opposition in the House of Representatives on Monday.

Imbert observed that a question from Naparima MP Rodney Charles on this subject contained exaggerations.

“It’s my information, I have been so advised, that just over 4,000 people have come forward looking for 2,000 job opportunities (with Royal Caribbean).”

He said Charles’ claim that Royal Caribbean’s recruiting campaign was “heavily and massively oversubscribed” was false.

“It’s not unusual, if jobs are available, that twice as many people looking for job opportunities apply for the jobs.”

He praised the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts “for making these opportunities available to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.”

The cruise tourism industry was one of the first victims of the covid19 pandemic when it started in 2020. The pandemic has also made it difficult for new applicants to seek employment in the industry.

Imbert said: “It’s an industry where people have been unemployed for a while.

“These are good jobs. These are hard currency earning jobs. There is constant and great training in this job opportunity.”

As interim Prime Minister, Imbert was delighted that “2,000 of our fellow citizens can now access these good jobs”.

Charles insisted that recruitment drives were oversubscribed. He asked Imbert for his personal opinion on whether this would have happened in a more developed country.

Imbert replied: “From my experience of some 30 years in this Parliament, it is inappropriate to ask a minister (of the government) for his opinion.”

He reiterated: “The use of the terminology ‘massively oversubscribed’ is incorrect. There were twice as many applicants as there were jobs.

Imbert also reiterated his congratulations to the ministry and the government.

On May 23, the ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with Royal Caribbean, for jobs for about 2,000 citizens on its cruise ships. They are eligible under 500 job titles in categories such as Food and Beverage Management, Culinary Arts, Customer Service and Guest Relations, Hospitality Management, and Entertainment.

Job fairs were held last week in Port of Spain, San Fernando and Tobago.

At a post-Cabinet press conference on June 9, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell said he attended the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association summit in Puerto Rico from June 1 as of June 3 and had learned: “A number of other cruise lines are interested in a TT workforce, recognizing internationally that we have a high quality workforce, these are therefore additional opportunities arise. They contacted us during the conference.”