A recruitment company from Jersey has recruited over 100 Utalii College alumni for hospitality jobs in Europe.
GR8 Recruitment firm began its interviews a week ago and interviewed 200 hospitality professionals in Kenya to plug staff shortages in the island’s hospitality industry.
Successful applicants are expected to be flown to Jersey from January next year. They will work within the nine-month non-EU hospitality work permit permissions.
The college, established 49 years ago, has trained over 60,000 graduates from around the world.
Utalii College Principal and Chief Executive Hashim Mohamed said their quality training had helped Kenya make a mark in the global hospitality arena.
He said as an institution, they were committed to offering quality and relevant training that meets world standards.
“We also appreciate our alumni for their immense contribution to the global hospitality and tourism industry. Therefore, we would like to assure international recruiters of the professionalism and quality of our graduates,” Mohamed said, and added that they had initiated constant curriculum review to meet the ever-changing customer needs and expectations and that is the reason huge firms like GR8 had settled on its alumni.
GR8 Managing Director Lee Madden said they had picked on Utalii College because of providing world class training.
“Those recruited will serve as ambassadors and ultimately lead to other international agencies to consider Kenya and Utalii as their source of professional personnel for the hospitality industry,” Madden said.
The college trains students in different courses that include hotel, travel and tourism management as well as food production and sales.
According to Bailiwick Express, a Jersey online paper, the country’s immigration policy was changed earlier this year to allow for 150 short-term seasonal work permits in a bid to ease the recruitment crisis in the island’s hospitality industry.
Simon Soar, the Chief Executive of the Jersey Hospitality Association told Bailiwick Express that the the easing of the regulations would provide a significant boost to the industry ahead of the 2019 tourism season.
“We are absolutely delighted with this result,” he said.
In the new arrangement, the Kenyan staff will have to leave Jersey for three months after the expiry of the nine-month permit and will not be able to return for another three months.
GR8 launched social media and recruitment campaigns which led to the hiring of a number of professionals from entry level to management positions.
However, GR8 says it became apparent that these campaigns were not going to fill a void of staff resources in 2020 and which meant businesses might have to reduce the number they could serve, offer fewer beds, or in some cases, not operate at all.