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Minister Bartlett Warns Tourism Players Not to Charge for Job Recruitment

Release Date: 
Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 16:45

KINGSTON, Jamaica; June 13, 2022: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has warned tourism stakeholders to desist from charging individuals seeking to secure jobs in the sector. Noting that it is tantamount to scamming, Minister Bartlett said “nobody is to pay an agent or any intermediary for any recruitment opportunity for work in the tourism sector at this time.”

Speaking at the official handover of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) tools to players in the tourism sector at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel recently, Mr. Bartlett said he has heard of cases where potential workers were being charged up to $200,000 by recruiters.

Stopping short of calling the act criminal, Minister Bartlett noted that anyone caught partaking in this activity will be treated as scammers, adding that “the law will take its course.”

Mr. Bartlett also noted that there is high demand for Jamaican workers not just locally, but globally, adding that the tourism sector has a responsibility to ensure that its workers are not being scammed in the process.

Minister Bartlett then handed over the DRM tools to tourism stakeholders, which included the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Plan Template and Guidelines, and a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Template and Guidebook. He encouraged them to take the DRM tools to the next level of innovation and convert the information into applicable and physically useful action. He noted that converting the information into action builds capacity and boosts resilience. The Minister reminded the stakeholders that resilience is the “ability for us to respond quickly and well, to recover fast, and grow afterwards.”

As part of the Ministry’s initiative to develop and implement comprehensive strategies to build resilience, the DRM Plan Template and Guidelines, and the BCP Template and Guidebook for the tourism sector, were developed. The primary objective of the DRM Plan is to provide clear guidance to the management and staff of tourism entities on the basic infrastructure and operating procedures required to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazard events or emergency situations; while the BCP Guidebook provides guidelines to tourism entities on creating the BCP to enhance risk reduction and recovery strategies.

In the meantime, Executive Director of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Camille Needham, after receiving a batch of the DRM tools, said “the JHTA is fully committed to a sectorial approach to issues like the management of natural and anthropogenic hazards and climate change and their impacts.”

Adding that the sector’s high dependence on natural resources and climate-based activities is also what makes it vulnerable, Mrs. Needham said the JHTA appreciates the importance of resilience and sustainability as a strategic priority for the tourism industry. She stressed that “tourism risk management is critical for our analysis, assessment, treatment, and monitoring of the risks faced year after year.”

Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Dr. Carey Wallace, Acting Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Richard Thompson, and Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Mr. Wade Mars, were among the stakeholders who participated in the event.

The function ended with the presentation of certificates to participants in the recently concluded BCP Training Programme facilitated by the TEF.