There appears to be some miscommunication between the Turks Caicos Islands and St Vincent and the Grenadines regarding plans for 200 Vincentian nationals to be employed at the new Sandals Beaches Resorts in TCI.
The matter which circulated via WhatsApp in TCI has forced the Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services Arlington Musgrove to issue a statement.
Musgrove said: “While this may be their plan, it is certainly not the plan of this Government when we have so many Turks and Caicos Islanders who are out of work presently.
I can assure you that we have not had any discussions along these lines and in the event, we do, we will always look out for the betterment of our people first.”
The Minister said in reviewing the message, it speaks of a possible attachment of Beaches personnel at their various resorts to gain the requisite knowledge and skills to return to St Vincent, to work at the newly acquired resort once it is completed and ready for opening.
These workers are to be placed at their various properties on a temporary basis.
Musgrove stated: “With that being said, we must also look at a reciprocal arrangement for our people, so they too can benefit from such an exchange, where they would leave the Turks and Caicos Islands and be posted on a temporary basis at other Sandals Beaches properties, to further enhance their overall growth and development.
We will arrange a meeting with Beaches TCI to discuss this matter further, after which we will provide an update to you the public.”
The news about the 200 Vincentian nationals first came to light on March 16 during a statement in the Parliament by St. Vincent and the Greandines Minister of Finance Hon. Camillo Gonsalves.
Gonsalves said government recently concluded discussions with Sandals Resort International which will result in the employment of 200 Vincentians in the coming weeks to take up positions at a new Beaches Resort in TCI.
The Finance Minister stated that the expectation is that these workers will gain experience and familiarity with the Beaches brand and standards and eventually rotate back through the various Sandals properties until they are re-deployed to Beaches Buccament Bay when the resort is completed.
Gonsalves noted that the management of Sandals indicated there is a new government in TCI and they are working on matters related to work permits.
He added that Sandals will arrive in St Vincent and the Grenadines in mid to late April to conduct interviews with a view to deploying the Vincentian hospitality staff to TCI in advance of the upcoming tourism season. They expect to have them in place by June/July.