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Agency heads to Kenya to find hospitality staff

Business | Published:

A DELEGATION from GR8 Recruitment is in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday 27th November, to interview 200 Kenya Utalii College hospitality graduates for roles in Jersey’s hospitality industry next year.

Recruiting from Kenya is not new, this was Queens Hotel head waiter Kenyan Tom Francis Otieno pictured in 2006. Picture: ROB CURRIE 25-10-06 RO6D REF:00393580 Seasonal Workers Immigrant Workers Tourism - Hospitality Industry, Hotel workers (26454766)

The move comes amid a dire shortage of potential staff for the hospitality sector in the Island, which has threatened a reduction in services or closure of some businesses.

Working with the Jersey Hospitality Association and several providers, GR8 will start to bring successful candidates to the Island in staggered cohorts from early 2020. They will work in the Island on nine-month non-EU hospitality work permits.

The government changed immigration regulations earlier this year to help ease the recruitment crisis for hospitality, issuing 150 short-term seasonal work permits.

Lee Madden, managing director of GR8, decided the best way to select the right candidates was to meet and interview them face to face. He said: ‘Hospitality and Jersey does not have enough resource to provide the Island with a staffing solution in 2020. By travelling to Nairobi, establishing strong relationships with Utalii College, for now and into the future, we will be able to offer our industry a professional, reliable and reputable staff resource to go some way towards addressing the critical staff shortages in our industry.

‘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 contracts.’

Mr Madden said that GR8 had tried to recruit local staff, and that hospitality businesses worked with schools and Highlands College to encourage young people into the industry, but there were not enough candidates to fill the vacancies.

This week there were 120 hospitality vacancies advertised on the gov.je website. The recruitment agency also said that the cost of travelling to, and living in, Jersey, licencing and accommodation meant that it had become difficult to attract staff from Europe.

Gwyn Garfield-Bennett

By Gwyn Garfield-Bennett
Business Editor

Gwyn is a highly experienced journalist having worked in UK national TV for the BBC and ITN, as well as running her own magazine publishing business, freelancing for national newspapers and UK magazines. She has a CIPR Diploma in Public relations, excellent digital skills and is an experienced digital marketing practitioner. Gwyn is also an author of several books.

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