GRAND BAHAMA, The Bahamas — Hundreds of residents in Grand Bahama gathered at St. George’s Gymnasium on November 19, 2022 for ‘Labour on the Blocks 2.0’ in hopes of getting off the unemployment line.
It is the second such edition hosted by the Department of Labour, which is collaborating with the Ministry for Grand Bahama to bring together private businesses and government agencies under the same roof for job seekers.
Eager job seekers flocked to the gymnasium early that morning, with resume and other supporting documents in hand, to get first pick at the 29 businesses and government agencies represented at the job fair, in some instances queuing long lines.
A wide cross-section of businesses and government agencies were present, including Ernst and Young, Deloitte and Touche, Sawyer’s Fresh Market, Quality Services, Baker’s Bay, Grand Lucayan, Universal Security, Grand Bahama Shipyard, Cyber Tech, Freeport Container Port, the University of The Bahamas, Pelican Bay, Sandals, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, and government agencies such as the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Bahamas Immigration, Bahamas Customs and the National Training Agency.
Sebastian Leguizamon, owner of Compadre, the first recyclable pocket lighter, said they have designed an automated assembly line, which will be operated in Freeport where the lighters will be made, and they will be offering good, high-paying jobs and on-site training for the 23 positions they are hoping to fill initially at the plant.
Leguizamon said he is impressed with the labour pool in The Bahamas, some of whom flew into Grand Bahama to take part in the job fair.
“[I’m] very impressed with the government, how proactive everybody is and again it makes investors very comfortable,” he said.
Human Resources Manager Disney Cruiseline Bahamas Leslie Lopez revealed the company is looking to fill several positions, including landscaping, maintenance, custodial and beach lifeguard and are also scouting out job seekers to fill 200 key positions at its new island, Lighthouse Pointe, in Eleuthera in 2024.
“We’re just getting heads up and seeing what the talent is like in Freeport. So far it’s been great, we’ve met some exciting persons who are ready to work for us and help us in carrying on that journey,” he said.
Lopez said the Department of Labour has been a great partner in helping Disney find essential talent.
Anna Albury, Human Resources Manager at Ocean Cay, a 95-acre private island owned by MSC Cruises, said they are currently recruiting 25 new prospects from room attendants, food and beverage runners, heavy equipment operators to lifeguards.
“Currently we have a total of 142 staff on the island and we’re looking to increase our numbers tremendously and we are global international great company to work for,” she said.
Tavaras Russell, Senior Clerk in the Human Resources Division at Bahamas Immigration, said it was an impressive turnout, and with many stopping by their booth seeking employment, the department is looking for qualified individuals who are ready to serve their country.