Cruise Recruitment Adds To Foreign Competition For Local Workers

Cruise lines conducting mass recruitment exercises throughout the Caribbean on the heels of the industry’s rebound after the pandemic are contributing to the intense competition from foreign employers seeking to hire Caribbean talent, says Joseph Boll, Caribbean Employment Services Inc. CEO.

While cruise liners have maintained a close relationship with Caribbean nations, supplying thousands of jobs over the years and often giving back in the communities in which they operate, Boll says the current global labour climate is making a difference.

“Major players in the cruise industry — Royal Caribbean, Carnival and others — have often supplied jobs in the Caribbean countries they operate in,” notes the CEO of the market-leading, exclusively Caribbean digital talent acquisition company.

“This is, of course, a welcome boon for governing bodies and residents alike. Especially coming off months of a cruising ‘drought’ due to no-sail orders amidst the pandemic. With tourism, travel and cruising picking up the pieces, we have the tell-tale signs of recruitment drives throughout the region — in Jamaica, in Trinidad & Tobago, in The Bahamas, in Antigua and elsewhere. As a recruitment service, we believe this is a good thing; connecting the best employees with top-notch employers is what we strive for.”

However, Boll also notes, “The end result is thousands of skilled Caribbean workers leaving their homes to work abroad — essentially the same result as the influx of foreign employers who are seeking to recruit Caribbean talent to live and work abroad.”

Over the past few months, Caribbean Employment Services Inc. has commented on a noticeable uptick in foreign recruitment of Caribbean talent. CEO Boll has suggested these developments are likely linked to the severe labour shortage in the United Kingdom, the ongoing “Great Resignation” in the United States and an aging workforce in Canada, coupled with the convenient proximity and historical ties of the Caribbean as well as its high calibre of workers.

As such, Boll says, “The cruise liners’ recruitment comes at a time when more and more foreign employers are also ‘fishing’ in the Caribbean’s waters. This increases the pressure on local employers and governing bodies to make sure they themselves don’t end up facing labour shortages due to the unprecedented high demand.”

At the same time, however, he notes the ideal position it places Caribbean workers in: “The opportunities are ripe for the region’s workers. Many of these employers are offering complete relocation packages and training; so, from that perspective, you truly are in possibly the best position.”

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