Droves of individuals turned out for a recent job fair at Sandals South Coast, even while Jamaica reports a record low unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent. The job fair, which unfurled on Wednesday, May 18th, sought to fill positions in housekeeping, laundry, dining room and the kitchen departments primarily, as well as create a pool of previously vetted and shortlisted candidates for future opportunities as they become available at the award-winning resort.

“This is a time of exponential growth for Sandals Resorts International. The playing field is opening up and there are numerous opportunities within the company for persons passionate about the business of tourism,” said O’Brian Heron, general manager of Sandals South Coast. “All across our company, the workforce is constantly changing as persons develop in their careers and take hold of new opportunities across the Caribbean thereby creating a space for others to fill.”  With that said, Heron noted that Sandals takes a proactive approach to identify, hiring, training and maintaining the ideal workforce.

The job fair, which is the first of its kind to be held at the resort in Westmoreland since the start of the year, afforded over 140 individual interviews with resort personnel from which some 80 candidates were immediately hand-picked to join the resort team.

Among the initial batch of successful applicants is Melecia McDaniel from the neighbouring Whitehouse community.  Prior to December 2021, McDaniel was gainfully employed in Negril, some 50 kilometres away. Her daily commute proved strenuous on her finances and she soon found it difficult to make ends meet despite being employed. “I have responsibilities within my household including caring for my niece whom I love dearly. Being unemployed meant I couldn’t care for her anymore and that broke my heart,” said McDaniel.

McDaniel, who was recruited for Sandals South Coast’s housekeeping department, is HEART certified by NVQJ and says she’s really passionate about the hospitality industry and about the prospects of working with Sandals. She’s also hopeful that her employment will allow her to accomplish her goals, among them, caring for her niece.

Andaine Snow, another successful applicant, also sees his employment with Sandals South Coast as the key to unlocking some of his goals, like starting a family with his wife of four years. Snow was an immediate favourite with his vibrant personality and undeniable social skills. “I’m a people person and I love to make people happy,” said Snow.

“I’ve always had an interest in the hospitality industry and being able to exercise my skills in customer service and as such getting this job feels absolutely amazing,” shared the St. Elizabeth native who will be a first timer in the hospitality industry.

Other successful candidates, Akeem Porter and Khadijah Wellington, both from Whitehouse also expressed how happy they were on being employed. Both were employed by the resort’s stewarding and housekeeping teams respectively. “I have a passion for housekeeping so I’m happy I was successful especially since I’ve always heard good things about Sandals and I know they are a company that allows you to grow.”

“We feel very confident with our selections and look forward to continuing the process of onboarding these individuals and nurturing their careers within the hospitality industry,” says the resort’s Recruitment and ComplianceOfficer, Jeneise Russell-Thompson. Sandals South Coast currently employs over 1200 individuals, most of whom are from communities within Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth