Beginning Sunday, June 5, a total of 10,000 Jamaicans will be recruited to work on cruise ships overseas, according to Edmund Bartlett (Jamaica's Minister of Tourism).
He said the massive recruitment drive came at a time when the cruise sector and tourism, by extension, were showing signs of growth and was a telling indicator that Jamaican workers were viewed positively on the global stage.
“This is a very big deal and a sign that cruise shipping is back.
“The cruise lines can recruit anywhere and to express a commitment to hire 10,000 of our countrymen and countrywomen is a sure sign of the confidence they have in our workers. We are talking about chefs, bellboys, room attendants… seafarers in general… just about in any department.”
The Minister added that recruiting would be handled by the operators of the cruise lines, and Jamaicans only needed to have "a clean police record and a clean bill of health."
He said that in recent discussions with cruise company officials, Jamaica continued to be a first-choice country as it related to hiring workers, adding that “our work ethic and iconic stature are well known and will always give us that preferential edge anywhere in this region”.
Most major cruise shipping companies have recently been on a global recruitment drive for workers. Jamaica, based on numbers, is one of the highest on the list.
Considering that scores of onboard staff/crew have, for decades, been plying their trade onboard mega liners owned by CCL-Carnival and RCI-Royal Caribbean, from which they have contributed to Jamaica’s economy.